Lithuania, late 18th – early 19th c.
Church of St. Theresa in Vilnius.
18th c. Rococo colours and ideas of Classicism
The spirit of Rococo is particularly well reflected in eighteenth-century patterned silk fabrics from the weaving mills of France, above all Lyon, whose ornaments and colours were adopted by acupictors. The distinctive features of this style are light pastel colours, swirling flower garlands and diagonally meandering “rivers”. In the third quarter of the 18th century, the taste in decorative arts inclined towards classics with a predilection for clear architectural lines and a renewed interest in motifs of classical antiquity.
The dalmatic is the central liturgical vestment of a deacon, the first order of ordained ministry. Canons and bishops wear the dalmatic under the chasuble, thus expressing the entirety of spiritual ordinance. Having become part of the liturgical costume in the 4th century, the dalmatic is derived from a long wide-sleeved ungirdled tunic worn in the Dalmatian province of the Roman Empire.
Embroidery with silk threads
The dalmatic with classical-style embroidery shows the influence of painting compositions and themes of the given period. It is embroidered in silk with straight stitch imitating weaving.
Other biblical scenes
The dalmatic is adorned with a scene described in the Old Testament: a daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh with her servants finds the child Moses abandoned on the riverbank and decides to adopt him.