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Roundel Illustrating Episodes from the Biblical Story of Joseph

Object Name:
Fragment of Roundel
Date:
7th century
Geography:
Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Linen, wool; tapestry weave
Dimensions:
Textile: Diam. 10 1/4 in. (26.1 cm) Mount: H. 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm) W. 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm) D. 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Brocades
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles K. and Irma B. Wilkinson, 1963
Accession Number:
63.178.2
  • Description

    Textiles like this one are thought to have been produced by Copts (Christian Egyptians) whose designs and motifs influenced the visual repertoire of the early Islamic period. This roundel utilizes explicitly Christian imagery—the life of Joseph, son of Jacob. The early life of Joseph appears to have been a popular source of imagery in Egypt, likely because the narrative largely takes place in that region. Roundels like this were often placed near the shoulders of a child’s garment, and the imagery here of Joseph’s childhood may have been considered as not only an appropriate choice for a child’s garment but also a protective one.

  • Provenance

    Charles K. and Irma B. Wilkinson, Sharon, CT (by 1960–63; gifted to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451718

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