Lithuania, middle of the 19th c.
Church of the Bishop St. Stanislaus in Riešė.
19th c. Professional versus amateur
The 19th century is characterized by a large variety of styles and techniques. In Lithuania, the persisting tradition of Baroque was reflected in the decoration of liturgical vestments, and the impact of the mid-century Gothic revival in Europe was hardly felt. The back orphrey of chasubles often acquired the form of a cross. Medallions with Christograms, images of saints or the Lamb of God were placed at the intersection of the cross.
The chasuble is the central vestment for the Holy Mass worn by a priest over all the other parts of liturgical clothing. Originating from a Roman conical cloak protecting from cold, it has retained its form throughout the Middle Ages. Its sides gradually became shorter allowing more freedom of movement, until it became similar to a magnificent shield. The 19th–20th century liturgical movements returned the ancient form of a cloak to the chasuble.
Embroidery on canvas
Embroidery with Berlin wool became a distinctive feature of the 19th century. In Germany, samples of coloured embroidery patterns were sold together with coloured woollen threads. These ornaments embroidered with cross-stitch soon appeared on liturgical vestments as well, but were later condemned as the loss of tradition and craftsmanship of embroidery.
Symbols of faith, floral ornaments
The richly decorated chasuble is adorned with the symbols of faith, hope and love: a cross, an anchor and a flaming heart. The motif of a Passion Flower is particularly distinct: a blossom of this flower discovered in South America reminded Spanish missionaries of the Crucifixion of Christ and became a symbol of His suffering.