Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Richly Decorated Tunic

Object Name:
660–870 (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)
Said to be from Egypt, Tuna al-Gebel
Wool; tapestry weave
Textile (including sleeves): H. 79 1/8 in. (201 cm) W. 46 7/8 in. (119.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Maurice Nahman, 1912
Accession Number:
Not on view
Tunics decorated with red background motifs were popular at the end of the Byzantine era in Egypt and during the first centuries of Islamic rule. The bright colors, bold schematic figures, and contrasting vegetal tracery of the ornamental insets give this fine woolen tunic a strong visual appeal. The designs are derived from classical motifs. Separately woven geometrically patterned woolen bands are attached to the hem and cuffs.
Maurice Nahman, Cairo (until 1912; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Textiles of Late Antiquity," December 14, 1995–April 7, 1996, no. 43.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," March 14, 2012–July 8, 2012, no. 112.

Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 43, pp. 28, 46, 47, ill. p. 28 (color), p. 46 (b/w).

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 112, pp. 169-170, ill. p. 170 (color).

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