Title:DalmaticArtist:Artist UnknownDate:16th centuryCreation Place:Europe, SpainCredit Line:The William Hood Dunwoody FundAccession Number:31.65
A dalmatic is the outer liturgical vestment worn by a deacon during Mass and other church services. Based on a Roman garment in general use in the province of Dalmatia in the 3rd century, the dalmatic was adapted by senators in Rome as a sign of their rank. Christian deacons began wearing the dalmatic during the reign of Pope Sylvester (315-335 A.D.).
The richly ornamented embroidery on this vestment, called orphrey, characterizes liturgical vestments made in 16th century Spain. The roundel on one side contains a depiction of the Madonna and Child and St. John the Baptist, and on the other, St. John the Baptist as an adult with his traditional attributes of a pilgrim's staff and a lamb.
The double presence of this saint suggests this dalmatic was made for a church that fostered a particular devotion to him.