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High Fashion in the Church: The Place of Church Vestments in the History of Art from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century [Hardcover]

Pauline Johnstone
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 74.00
Price: 69.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2002
The decoration of church vestments, which are the ceremonial garments worn by the clergy at the celebration of the Mass, has always been a matter of high fashion. In the first place, the crafts of silk weaving and embroidery, which provide the technical means for the decoration of these garments, have held a prominent place in the changing fashions in the arts since the early Middle Ages, and since that time have been used in the service of the church as well as for secular purposes. Secondly in a narrower sense of the term, both these crafts have been at the heart of fashionable dress through the centuries.Many silks intended for this market have also been used by the vestment makers, with the result that the vestments have remained in the forefront of each successive trend. This therefore is a book about the changing aspects of art history: its aim is to show something of the origins and use of the vestments themselves, but principally to trace the development of their decoration in the context of the arts of any one period. "High Fashion in the Church" is richly-illustrated as its subject matter rightly demands. It also contains an index, glossary and bibliography.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Maney Publishing (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902653610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902653617
  • Product Dimensions: 31.8 x 24.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,108,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Rather lovely! 29 May 2012
By Garbhd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pauline Johnson's book is a lovely little introductory survey of the development of the style and use of vestments in the in west. Clearly shoaling showing the draping, flowing vestments of the early church (themselves originally variations of ordinary dress) through practicality and fashion and devotion were cut away to the style depicted on the front, and also how trends in church fashion brought the west to the strong preference, in England at least, during the nineteenth century for a return to ealier gothic styles.

This change in the nineteenth can be seen in the context of the romantic mediaevalism common at the time in architecture, literature and history and also an English search for an authentically English Church. I am digressing, here, of course but this book is marvellous in its discussions on this development.

Incredibly handy as well, is the chart at the back detailing the stylistic differences between the various styles of chasuble, including the minor differences between say French, Roman and Galacian styles of vestment.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, could be better 3 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful book. The publication is high quality with excellent commentary. My only complaint, as an embroiderer is that the pictures do not show enough detail of the classic designs. It is a good addition to my collection on historical, ecclesiastical embroideries.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Very High 29 Jun 2014
By henri schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a real disappointment. There are far too many black and white photographs and drawing. A costume book without color is absure.
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