London: Vanity Fair, 1903. Chromolithographic print. Single sheet. Handsomely matted in gold and framed in wood (framed piece measures 14 7/8 x 20 1/4). Fine. Item #3
"HIS HOLINESS PIUS X"
Portrait of Pope Pius X, published in Vanity Fair in December 1903. Beautifully matted and framed.
Vanity Fair magazine published from late 1868 to early 1914 and a caricature was the special feature in most issues. The Cardinal Patriach of Venice, Giuseppe Cardinal Sarto became Pope Pius X in August 1903. This portrait of the recently coronated pontiff—captioned: His Holiness Pius X" and signed in the plate by the Italian artist Liborio "Lib" Prosperi—appeared in the magazine on December 10, 1903. Pius X "remained dedicated to the tasks of the parish priest and loved nothing more than catechizing children, saying Mass, and hearing confessions. Even as Pope he retained the heart of the simple parish priest and manifested a warmth, humor, affability, and gentleness that won the hearts of pilgrims from all over the world. His most important acts as Pope were inspired by the same pastoral sense and solicitude. His love of the Mass and his desire to have it performed in the most dignified manner was embodied in his decree on the reform of sacred music (1903). Of similar inspiration was his decree urging all the faithful to frequent communion and admitting children to this sacrament at the earliest possible age." (Thomas Bokenkotter, Concise History of the Catholic Church). Pius X was canonized by Pope Pius XII in the Marian Year of 1954. Lithographed by Vincent Brooks Day & Son Ltd.