Roundel with Amazons and a Cross, Weft-faced compound twill (samit) in green, beige, and brownish silk, Byzantine

Roundel with Amazons and a Cross

Date:
7th–9th century (?)
Geography:
Made in Egypt or Syria (?)
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Weft-faced compound twill (samit) in green, beige, and brownish silk
Dimensions:
Overall: 8 3/16 x 8 1/4in. (20.8 x 20.9cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Hayford Peirce, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.442.5
Not on view
This silk fragment features two bare-breasted Amazons, or female warriors, who aim arrows at the rampant lions beneath their horses’ hooves. It is possible to trace the long popularity of this ancient iconography thanks to the large surviving numbers of similar silks in various colors and quality of weave. This example features a tiny cross at the top and bottom of the circular frame filled with heart shapes and vegetal patterns.
Hayford PeirceCollection (until 1946); Mrs. Hayford Peirce, San Diego (by descent; until 1987)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Eighteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1987, through June 30, 1988." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 118 (1988). p. 33.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 95, pp. 82–83.

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 103E, p. 157.

Evans, Helen C. "Notes from the Field: Mimesis." The Art Bulletin 95, no. 2 (June 2013). pp. 198-99, fig. 2.