Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Tabula (Square) with the Head of Spring

Object Name:
Square
Date:
5th–7th century
Geography:
Attributed to Egypt, Akhmim (former Panopolis)
Medium:
Linen, wool
Dimensions:
Textile: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm) W. 9 13/16 in. (25 cm) Mount: H. 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm) W. 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm) D. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
90.5.848
Not on view
This small tapestry panel comes from Egypt. It was originally used as an appliqué on a larger textile, probably as part of a set. Egypt had a major weaving (especially linen) industry throughout the ancient and medieval period, which brought the country a great deal of its trade and wealth. Unlike the textiles of other cultures, many of these pieces have been preserved by Egypt's hot, dry climate, which prevents rotting.
Personifications of the seasons were thought to represent prosperity. The pink blossoms suggest that this figure is Spring.
Emil Brugsch-Bey, Cairo (until 1890; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1890; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Textiles of Late Antiquity," December 14, 1995–April 7, 1996, no. 9.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Panopolis and Classical Themes," November 1, 2000–December 1, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Panopolis and Classical Themes," December 6, 2005–September 24, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Design Motifs in Byzantine Art," August 5, 2013–August 3, 2014.

Clarke, C. Purdon. "A Piece of Egyptian Tapestry." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 2, no. 10 (1907). pp. 161-162.

Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 9, pp. 32, 44, ill. p. 32 (color).

Eisenberg, Jerome M. "The New Byzantine Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Minerva 12, no. 3 (2001). pp. 26-27, ill. fig. 12.

Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). pp. 5, 25, ill. (color).

Evans, Helen C. "The Arts of Byzantium." Metropolitan Museum of Arts Bulletin (2001). pp. 5, 25, ill. (color).

Thomas, Thelma K. Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity. New York, 2016. no. 44, pp. 32, 34, 134-135, 147, ill., figs. 1-1.12, 2-5.7.



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