Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Medallion Depicting Addorsed Amazons on Horseback

Object Name:
6th–7th century
Made in Syria
Silk; samite (weft-faced compound twill)
Textile: H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm) W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm) Mount: H. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm) W. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm) D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
Not on view
While the highest-quality silks produced in the Byzantine and Sasanian periods were intended for a relatively small elite, a broad range of simpler, two-color silks were consumed by those emulating the fashionable set. The design of this textile consists of a roundel, framed by a stylized vine-scroll border, enclosing an addorsed pair of amazons on horseback with drawn bows aimed at rampant felines underfoot. This silk was certainly of the type affordable to local elites, who used small amounts of the precious textile to adorn otherwise simple tunics.
[ Adolph Loewi, Venice, until 1927; sold to MMA]
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