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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Persian
Creator Name-CRT: Sasanian; Iran or Egypt
Title: Textile fragment
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 600
Creation End Date: 699
Creation Date: 7th or 8th century A.D.
Creation Place: Iran
Creation Place: Egypt
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Textiles-Woven
Materials and Techniques: wool, cotton
Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (22.2 x 11.4 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1977.232
Credit Line: Anonymous Gift, 1977
Style or Period: Sasanian
Many ancient textiles have been recovered in Egypt, where the dry climate contributed to their excellent state of preservation. Some of these fabrics, notably silks from Antinoë and 'Coptic' linens decorated with wool, are striking works of art. This vibrantly colored wool fragment illustrating a ram, was acquired in Egypt, and it is closely related in weave and design to 'Coptic' textiles. Significant details in the iconography however, relate it to works made in Sasanian Iran and Mesopotamia in the mid-first millennium. Such details include the neck ribbons, signifying the animal's association with the royal court; the frontal horns; the striding pose; and the articulation of the body. By the sixth century the influence of Sasanian motifs was widespread, and it is apparent in the art of the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and farther Asian worlds. Regrettably no remains of original Sasanian figured textiles are preserved in excavations in Mesopotamia or Iran, and speculation continues concerning the place of manufacture of the Sasanian-style textiles found in Egypt and Central Asia and other examples preserved in European church treasuries. This textile fragment beautifully illustrates both the stylizations that characterize certain fabrics in the sixth to eighth centuries and the strikingly colorful effect that must have contributed to the wide popularity of these works of art.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1977.232
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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