Print this page

Dalmatic of Charlemagne

Front view of the so-called Dalmatic of Charlemagne. Front view of the so-called Dalmatic of Charlemagne. Copyright Treasury Museum, Vatican.

The so-called Dalmatic of Charlemagne is held in the Treasury Museum of the Vatican Basilica. However, it is neither originally a dalmatic, nor was it ever worn by Charlemagne. It is probably an imperial garment (a sakkos), made of silk, from the Byzantine empire, and perhaps of an eleventh century date (other scholars suggest a fourteenth century date).

The garment is made of a blue silk fabric decorated with intricate gold and silver thread embroidery. It was reputedly a present by the Patriarch of Constantinople to Pope Eugene IV (1431-1444). The back of the garment carries an illustration of the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor, which in the East is particularly associated with the theosis ('divinisation'). The front of the dalmatic has a depiction of the Second Coming of Christ.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Marianne Alford's Needlework as Art, 1886.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 22 June 2016).

WV

Last modified on Sunday, 23 April 2017 08:47