Mar 3, 2014

Alexander the Great on Horseback

Alexander the Great on Horseback


Dyed wool, undyed linen; plain weave and slit-tapestry weave

Overall: 30.5 x 24.8 cm (12 x 9 3/4 in.); Mounted: 41.9 x 36.8 cm (16 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.)

Gift of The Textile Arts Club 1959.123



Featuring imperial Byzantine themes, this rare roundel originally decorated a tunic. Genii (guardian spirits) crown the mounted horseman in military dress while an animal runs below. The inscription at the top identifies the horseman as Alexander the Great (356-323 bc), a popular cult figure in Egypt for centuries. The pattern’s mirror-image symmetry indicates the influence of costlier Byzantine silks.

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