…by Anura Guruge
Related post: Andrew O. — When The Popes Started Wearing White And Why? — May 4, 2012.
As I was posting Andrew’s post on Friday night, I knew that I had no choice but to spend some time (which I really don’t have) looking into this. I didn’t have any time at all to even think about it until Sunday evening. Exactly 18″ from my right shoulder, as I sit at my main PC, is my shelf of over-sized pope books, the first in the shelf, given its size, being Michael Walsh’s ‘An Illustrated History of Popes‘ (which by the way, per its index, does not have a single reference to Pius V (#226) — the white cassock wearing Dominican). I decided I had to look through this book in order. Page 30, an unidentified 12th century mosaic — which I reproduce below (with thanks to Michael), which supposedly shows from left-to-right, St. Peter (#1), St. Cornelius (#21) and St. Julius I (#35) and martyr St. Calepodius.
As far as I can see all three popes are wearing white, underneath and this 12th century mosaic supposedly even predates Innocent V (#186) [1276 – 1276]. So I have decided that I am going to do this properly and thoroughly — and that means I need to create an Excel spreadsheet. Goal is I am going to log 5 pictures a day of popes showing what color robes they were wearing — with the original date of the mosaic, fresco or painting, pope, artist etc. etc. Then I can crunch it to see what we can deduce. I already found some interesting pictures of Gregory ‘the Great’ I (#64), who was the first religious to be pope, depicted in white.
If you have pictures you want to submit to help me out please do — and that applies especially to Mark T. Fitz and David T. (trusted experts, with extensive libraries, all). Thanks.