Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Silk with "Samson" and the Lion

Not on view

The original vibrant colors of this elegantly woven silk and the similar example from the Musée National du Moyen Âge, Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny, Paris, are indicative of the taste for vivid coloring that pervaded the Byzantine and early Islamic worlds. Multiple examples of this motif of combat between a man and a lion survive and attest to the theme’s continued popularity well into the early Islamic era. The image suggests the classical theme of the battle of Herakles and the Nemean Lion. The silks may also represent the biblical battle of Samson with a lion or that of the youthful king David.

Silk with "Samson" and the Lion, Weft-faced compound twill (samit) in polychrome silk

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.