Silk satin embroidered with silk- and metallic-wrapped thread, metallic braid
center back length: 53 in (134.6 cm), center back length: 30 in (76.2 cm)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume Council Fund
Not on view
The luxurious ecclesiastical vestments created in New Spain were masterpieces, entirely embroidered with costly Chinese silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads. These garments demonstrate the great skill of the Mexican artisans, some of whom were guild embroiderers originally trained by Spanish masters. They also display the enormous wealth the Church invested in these commissions. The large-scale florals, cherubs, and Christian motifs that cover this cope and hood are designed in an opulent European Baroque style. Following Spanish and Italian techniques, the raised surfaces of metallic embroidery provide additional variety and depth and would have sparkled during a candle-lit church service.