Altar Frontal with the Pelican - inv. 56

Titolo: 
Altar Frontal with the Pelican
Numero di Inventario: 
56
Tipologia: 
textiles
Collezione: 

Textiles

Parole chiave soggetto: 
allegory of the sacrifice of the Cross
sacred
angels with symbols of the Passion
Pelican as a symbol of Christ
Autore, ambito, luogo di produzione: 
Northern Italy, second half of 16th - first half of 17th century
Ambito e luogo di produzione: 
Northern Italy
Lombardy
Pubblicazione: 
Si
Libri correlati: 
Periodo: 
1550
1575
1600
Materia e Tecnica: 
silver
silver gilt
gold
silk
Data di Ingresso: 
1883
Tipo di acquisizione: 
acquisition
Collocazione riservata: 
Laboratorio restauro
Tipo di collocazione: 
deposit

The pelican which tears open its breast to feed its youngs with its own blood and the branch of thorns recalling the crown of thorns are both evocations of Christ’s Passion. The padded flames represent the Holy Spirit, while the angels set between bunches of grapes and ears of corn are symbols of the Eucharist. 
The ground is a cloth of silk interwoven with threads of silver. It is a product of very high quality, probably made in Lombardy between 1550 and 1630. The border, the pelicans, the flames and the metal yarn probably all date from the same period, while the flowers which complete the decoration are seventeenth-century work. The altar frontal could have been composed in the late seventeenth century by using older fabrics from different sources. Embroiderers and weavers often reused fabrics to make new objects. They would recover the still sound parts of paraments, not only because of their sacred character but also for the sake of their precious materials.
 

AC/DC: 
DC