Textile with Lions' Heads, Foliate Ornament, and pseudo-Arabic inscription


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10

The delicate pink ground of this silk, graced with fresh, leaf-green patterns and punctuaced with deep blue accents, reveals medieval dyers’ consummate skill, control, and versatility in creating a range of colors both subtle and vivid. The combination of complementary pink and green threads of similar value, offset by the limited use of the darker blue, also speaks to the weavers’ sophisticated appreciation of the interaction of colors. The result is a pleasing composition that, with its repeating pattern of stylized lion heads amid graceful foliage, recalls a menagerie within a courtly garden.

Textile with Lions' Heads, Foliate Ornament, and pseudo-Arabic inscription, Silk; twill and plain weave, Italian

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