Italian / Length of Velvet / late 17th-early 18th centuryItalian
Length of Velvet
late 17th-early 18th century

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Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Name-CRT: Italian
Title: Length of Velvet
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1666
Creation End Date: 1733
Creation Date: late 17th-early 18th century
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Textiles-Velvets
Materials and Techniques: Silk
Dimensions: W. 23 in. (58.4 cm), L. 84 in. (213.4 including turned under selvages)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1992.15
Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Art Gifts, 1992

While Lyons was the undisputed center of the silk-weaving industry during the eighteenth century, Genoa provided much of the high-quality velvet for both furnishings and fashion. A specialty was polychrome-velvet weaving, as in this fabric, which possibly was intended to be used for an elegant wide-skirted mantua, or gown. Although the pattern repeat of stylized and seminaturalistic flowers is relatively small, it appears more complex, as it is rendered with seven different colors, a feat of technical virtuosity. The individual motifs are further modeled by juxtaposing cut and uncut ("ciselé") pile, which reflect light differently. This mutable effect is more dramatic when the fabric is in movement, as one's perception of the colors changes dramatically depending on whether the fabric is vertical or horizontal, flat or draped.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1992.15
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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