The second half of the 1300s was one of the great periods of Italian silk design. Drawing upon Chinese, Islamic, and European motifs, artists created international designs. This rare, fragmentary chasuble displays a Chinese phoenix with outstretched wings flying toward a group of pseudo-Kufic, Arabic-like letters while a dog snarls at the bird. Arabic script was associated with the Holy Land. Italian textiles were an important export product at the end of the Middle Ages. In this case, the fabric was shipped to Germany, where it was used to create a chasuble, the upper garment of the bishop and priest during Holy Mass.
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