The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 19, 2018

Velvet with Pomegranate Pattern, 1450-1500

silk, gold thread; velvet: three heights of cut pile, gold thread loops, Overall: 300.9 x 56.5 cm (118 7/16 x 22 3/16 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.20

This extravagant Italian velvet with three heights of lush crimson pile is lavishly embellished with
gold-thread loops. Large pomegranate patterns such as this were fashionable in Europe for more
than a century, about 1420 to 1550, and were often featured in paintings and in large wall tapestries.
Variations occurred in pattern details, pile height, and gold thread. Since pomegranates symbolized
eternity, fertility, and resurrection, these velvets were often used in Roman Catholic churches.

This pomegranate pattern inspired the cope, or cloak, worn by the Archbishop of Canterbury when
he officiated the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

CMA, Gallery 216, installed 6/91.
CMA: Draped in Splendor: Renaissance Textiles and the Church, Sept. 7, 2003-Sept. 26, 2004, no catalogue

Textiles installation (gallery 115): November 27 2012 - December 9, 2013.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Library materials about Italy, Florence, 15th century (75)

Detail Views