Italian; made/manufactured: Venice, Italy / Length of Velvet / end of the 15th centuryItalian; made/manufactured: Venice, Italy
Length of Velvet
end of the 15th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Active Place: Venice, Italy
Creator Name-CRT: Italian; made/manufactured: Venice, Italy
Title: Length of Velvet
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1467
Creation End Date: 1499
Creation Date: end of the 15th century
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Textiles-Velvets
Materials and Techniques: silk, metal thread
Dimensions: W. 23 in. (58.4 cm), L. 12 ft. 4 in. (375.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 12.49.8
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1912

Sumptuous velvets, such as this example, were among the most highly prized luxury fabrics of the Renaissance. Utilizing variations on a relatively small number of decorative motifs, most notably the pomegranate, palmette, artichoke, and garland, these silken-pile textiles developed from earlier fifteenth-century subtle voided patterns, formed by the appearance of the ground fabric where there was no pile on the surface, into visually and technically more complex designs. Here, the symmetrical pattern of elaborate artichoke forms within lobed compartments surrounded by ogivally arranged intertwined leaves and flowers is woven with metal thread, and some details are executed with metal loops (bouclé) for additional texture. The jewel-tone silk velvet primarily forms the background, which, in areas, has a subtle 'sculpted' leaf pattern achived by juxtaposing two different heights of the velvet pile.

Woven in Italy-particularly Florence, Venice, and Genoa-and in Spain, velvets were coveted throughout Europe and also in Turkey, where production demonstrated reciprocal influences, especially with Venetian weavings. This particular example exhibits Eastern influence in the crenate collar or clip motif that secures the garlands. Contemporary paintings, inventories, and extant examples clearly indicate the international appeal of velvets and their varied uses: from ecclesiastical vestments to caftans and European-style garments for the very wealthy, to opulent furnishings, cloths of honor, and diplomatic gifts.

AMICA ID: MMA_.12.49.8
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.