Chasuble - inv. 235

Italy or Spain (?), second quarter of 16th century

Part of a Chasuble
silver   silver gilt   silk   velvet  
73,5 x 59 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 235

Textiles Room


The cloth, which appears for the first time in the 1931-32 inventory, consists of three pieces of the same fabric sewn together. The refinement of the execution, the high cost of the red dye, and the silver and gold yarn made such velvets extremely costly. Its pattern is a fine arabesque of branches interwoven with the pointed and heart-shaped cornices of stylized acanthus leaves. The arabesques, hatayi buds and the rumi leaves are of Turkish inspiration. In those cities which had regular contacts with the Turks through war and trade, such as Genoa, Florence and Venice, Oriental fabrics were often quite easy to come by. They would be studied and their patterns and techniques copied, so making it possible to manufacture products which would also be appreciated on the Eastern market.