Exhibitions/ Art Object

Pattern Sheet with Diaper Design

5th–6th century
Made in Egypt
Black ink and light yellow, dark yellow, pink, blue, and white paint on light brown papyrus
2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (7 x 7 cm)
Credit Line:
The Austrian National Library, Department of Papyri, Vienna (P. Vindob. G 1.310)
Not on view
Silks were woven in many designs. One widely popular type was a diaper pattern that used a latticelike organizational scheme with narrow intersecting diagonal bands to create rhomboid or square fields filled with various motifs.
The diaper pattern on this papyrus fragment, a pattern sheet for the woven decoration of a tunic, is similar to contemporary Persian silks. The dissemination of papyrus templates such as this and the textiles based on them perhaps contributed to the spread of Persian motifs in other media, such as mosaics.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.