Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Fragmentary Band with Scenes from the Infancy of Christ

Object Name:
Fragmentary band
Date:
5th–6th century
Geography:
Made in Syria. Found Egypt
Medium:
Wool, linen, silk; warp-faced compound twill
Dimensions:
L. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
W. 21 3/4 in. (55.2 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
90.5.11a–e
Not on view
The earliest events in the life of Christ appear in sequence on this exquisitely woven band, possibly made for a tunic. Read from the right, the scenes are the Annunciation to the Virgin (most of the angel Gabriel is lost), the Bathing of the Christ Child (a popular motif not recorded in the Gospel texts), the Nativity with the Child in a Stone Manger, and the Adoration of the Shepherds.

The early events in the life of Christ appear on this band, possibly from a tunic–from the right, the Annunciation to the Virgin (most of the angel Gabriel lost), the Bathing of the Christ Child (an apocryphal story), the Nativity with the child in the manger, and the Adoration of the Shepherds. The scenes are similar to those on Early Christian works.

[Stauffer 1995]
Emil Brugsch-Bey(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. 26.

Catalogue of a Special Exhibition of Textiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1915–16. p. 14, ill. fig. 37.

Dimand, Maurice S. "Early Christian Weavings from Egypt." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 20, no. 2 (February) (1925). p. 57, fig. 5.

Peirce, Hayford, and Royall Tyler. Byzantine Art. Vol. II. Paris, 1934. p. 88, ill. fig. 58.

Falke, Otto von. Decorative Silks (Kunstgeschichte der Seidenweberei). New York: W. Helburn, 1936. ill. figs. 53, 68, related objects.

Freeman, Margaret Beam. "Shepherds in the Fields." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, vol. 11 (1952). p. 108, ill. (b/w).

Weibel, Adele Coulin. "The Figured Textiles of Europe and the Near East." In Two Thousand Years of Textiles. New York: Pantheon Books, 1952. ill. fig. 25.

Dimand, Maurice S., and Jean Mailey. Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. p. 8, ill. fig. 10 (b/w).

Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 26, pp. 38, 45, ill. p. 38 (color).

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