Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging

Nereid (Sea-Nymph) from a Hanging

late 300s - 400s

Slit-and dovetailed-tapestry weave probably woven in a linen plain-weave ground; dyed wool, undyed linen

Overall: 66.7 x 64.5 cm (26 1/4 x 25 3/8 in.); Mounted: 76.8 x 75.6 x 2.9 cm (30 1/4 x 29 3/4 x 1 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.18

Location

Fun Fact

Look closely at the eyeliner beneath the eye: it is formed by mixing two colors of thread, pink and blue.

Description

This mythological nereid, or sea nymph, a popular subject matter in late antiquity, is offering up the contents of a colored glass bowl. She is adorned with costly jewelry which includes large emeralds, sapphires, and pearls, a loosely draped shawl, and a brilliant halo. The nereid is surrounded by a border decorated with grape vines and birds. The quality of the craftsmanship is not diminished by the permanent brown blemishes, identified as dormant mold spores, which were present when it was acquired in 1953.

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