Artist/maker unknown, Italian
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Chasubles—the outermost robes worn by priests when celebrating mass—have been in use since at least the sixth century. Ornate vestments were considered appropriate for religious ceremonies; they were often donated by wealthy individuals wishing to display their devotion. This chasuble would have been commissioned from a professional embroiderer; its back portrays the attributes of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, including (from top) the tower of David, the closed gate, the spotless mirror, a well, a fountain, and a cedar of Lebanon.