Egypt, Byzantine period, late 4th - 5th century / Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging / late 300s - 400sEgypt, Byzantine period, late 4th - 5th century
Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging
late 300s - 400s

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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egypt, Byzantine period, late 4th - 5th century
Title: Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging
Title Type: Primary
View: Back
Creation Start Date: 375
Creation End Date: 499
Creation Date: late 300s - 400s
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Tapestries
Materials and Techniques: slit-and dovetailed-tapestry weave probably woven in a linen plain-weave ground; dyed wool, undyed linen
Dimensions: Overall: 66.7cm x 64.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1953.18
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Provenance: (Mrs. Paul Mallon, New York).
Style or Period: Egypt, Byzantine period, late 4th - 5th century

This tapestry is renowned for the large sea-nymph, or nereid, woven with bright colors. The mythological nereid, composed of a naked female torso descending into a fish, holds a colored glass bowl. Only costly jewelry with large emeralds, sapphires, and pearls, a loosely draped shawl, and a brilliant halo adorn her. A vine of leaves and grapes inhabited by birds forms the border. The refined quality is not diminished by the permanent brown blemishes, identified as dormant mold spores, which were present when the tapestry was acquired in 1953.

Photo of:

Detail of the Head, Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging (1953.18)

Colorful horizontal wefts are interlaced only in the area needed for the pattern, as visible here. Notice that the eyeliner beneath the eye is formed by a mixed thread with two colors, pink and blue.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1953.18
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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