Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

La Sostanza Dell'effimero: Gli Abitti Degli Ordini Religiosi in Occidente

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

La Sostanza Dell'effimero: Gli Abitti Degli Ordini Religiosi in Occidente

Article excerpt

La sostanza delle'effimero: Gli abiti degli ordini religiosi in Occidente. Edited by Giancarlo Rocca. [Catalogue for an Exhibition at the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo, 18 January-31 March 2000.] (Rome: Edizioni Paoline. 2000. Pp. 646. Lire 220,000 paperback.)

This handsome volume in large format and dense triple-column text began as a catalogue for an exhibition at Rome on male and female Order costume. At the hands of some 200 specialist collaborators, and with the resources of the monumental Dizionario degli istituti di perfezione' involved, it became a deep and subtle history of the evolution of religious garb, from eremetical nudity and monastic origins, past canons, mendicants, military Orders, and clerks regular to the current adaptations and mass abandonment.

General historical essays in some 250 columns open out into a tour of some 300 Orders or Order groups in over 1,500 dense columns. Almost every page sparkles with color illustrations, interspersed with black-and-white drawings or photos, and graphics on elements such as biretta and wimple. More than a coffee-table book, its volume of annotated information makes this a rich encyclopedia on its topic.

The genre of catalogue disposes the materials around the original exhibits; but those proceed systematically through each Order group with its own inner chronology. …

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