Silk, gilt animal substrate around a silk core; lampas
Textile: H. 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm)
W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Mount: H. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
W. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1928
Not on view
The main decorative elements of this silk fragment are a row of large roundels enclosing two seated female musicians. Dressed in robes of patterned design, the figures are depicted playing tambourines. The lamp hanging between the figures suggests a luxurious interior setting. These large roundels are interlaced with a row of smaller ones containing stars. A rich shimmering effect is produced by the juxtaposition of the vivid reds and the lavish gold brocading. Silk textiles produced in Muslim royal workshops (tiraz) were found in Christian lands in medieval Iberia, whether created for Christian patrons or cut and refashioned entirely for new uses, such as ecclesiastic vestments or church furnishings. This fragment along with 14 others belonged originally to the same textile, and were discovered between the pages of a 13th century manuscript in the cathedral of Vich in Spain.
[ Herman A. Elsberg, New York, until 1928; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 275, ill. fig. 183 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 47, p. 80, ill. p. 80 (color).