Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragmentary Band with Scenes from the Infancy of Christ

Object Name:
Fragmentary band
5th–6th century
Made in Syria. Found Egypt
Wool, linen, silk; warp-faced compound twill
L. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm) W. 21 3/4 in. (55.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
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.
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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