Robe du Sauveur(JSK)-Art Cloumn-

The Late Gothic Sacred Painter Carlo & the Gothic Revival Period of the British

 The central painting on this Juliette et Justine dress ”Robe du Sauveur”was done by Carlo Crivelli (1430-95). He was a painter from Venice, but there is little information about him left for posterity. A notable topic is that he was arrested in 1457 on charges of kidnapping another man's wife and was subsequently banished from Venice.

  Moreover, after his death, his works were forgotten, scattered, and dispersed. It was not until the 19th century that his work began to be appreciated, collected, and restored. His works are particularly highly valued in Britain, and a room in the National Gallery in Britain is filled exclusively with his paintings.

  The 18th and 19th centuries in Britain were the birthplace of the Gothic Revival. From the birth of Gothic novels to the construction of the Houses of Parliament and the designs of William Morris, the Gothic Revival experienced a flourishing era. It might have been this British penchant for Gothic that drew them to the late Gothic painter Carlo. Incidentally, Juliette et Justine's designer, Mari Nakamura, is said to favor Carlo as her favorite painter. Here, I introduce another of Carlo's beautiful paintings.

Dress Robe du Sauveu

Mary Magdalene" painted by Carlo Crivelli / After 1490 / Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (Netherlands)

"Madonna of the Swallow" - Who are the Characters!?

 Now, who are the four people depicted on this dress? From the left: the theologian Saint Jerome (347-420) holding a model of a church; in the center, Mary and the infant Jesus (4 BC-AD 30) touching an apple, symbolizing original sin. On the right is the martyr Saint Sebastian (? -287) standing by the arrow that struck him. Looking at it this way, aside from the Madonna and Child, none of the other figures lived in the same era. Above them, swallows are depicted, symbolizing "resurrection."

"Madonna of the Swallow" painted by Carlo Crivelli / 1480 / National Gallery Collection (UK)

Golden Tapestry Used in the Church

 Now, what do you think adorns the bodice and skirt of this dress? Surprisingly, it is a golden tapestry used in a church. The base is made of leather, and it is adorned with meticulous embroidery. In the central circle, you can see the letters "IHS." These are the first three letters of the Greek name for Jesus and symbolize Christ. Wearing this dress, which incorporates church tapestry, we might feel as if we are draped in a temple...

Written by Mariko Suzuki

(Published the book "Gothic & Lolita Language Dictionary" in 2024)


⚫︎"Western Art History of Superlative Techniques" by Hidehiro Ikegami & Naoko Aono / Published by Shinsei Publishing

⚫︎"Quick Guide to Understanding Christian Paintings, Revised Edition" by Nobuyuki Chikusaku / Published by Tokyo Art

⚫︎"Collected Essays on Western Art by Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, Vol. 1" by Tatsuhiko Shibusawa / Published by Kawade Bunko

⚫︎"Dictionary of Christian Art Symbols" by Jennifer Speake, translated by Osamu Nakayama / Published by Chikuma Gakugei Bunko