Fragment of a Wall Hanging with Floral Decoration
Made in Probably Egypt
Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed cotton
13 3/16 x 25 in. (33.5 x 63.5 cm)
Benaki Museum, Athens (15657)
Not on view
Vegetal motifs drawing upon Byzantine and Sasanian forms developed in the arts of the Umayyad and early Abbasid period in the territories, once the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire. Based on these traditions, the abstract forms and styles of ornament that subsequently developed at the Abbasid capital at Samarra would have a profound impact on the art and architecture of the Islamic world.
The flowers, depicted in strict frontality, evoke the Abbasid style of decoration that influenced designs during the ninth-century Tulunid and early Fatimid periods in Egypt. Below the band in red are traces of Kufic script.