Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009

Silk fragment with scrolling vines, grape leaves, grapes, and birds

Silk fragment with scrolling vines, grape leaves, grapes, and birds


Silk: lampas weave

Overall: 24.1 x 25.4 cm (9 1/2 x 10 in.); Mounted: 32.7 x 34.3 cm (12 7/8 x 13 1/2 in.)

Florence and Charles Abel Oriental Rug Collection by exchange 1971.75



This silk fragment displays a revolutionary new fashion in Italian textile design, influenced by the exotic patterns in silks imported from China, Byzantium, and Islamic countries of the Middle East. Beginning in the 1320s, instead of the static arrangement of motifs stacked one above the other, Italian designers staggered the motifs, creating asymmetry and movement. Even this fragment suggests motion through the arrangement of motifs in a curved lattice layout. However, the actual motifs—the grape leaves and bunches of grapes—remain typically Italian.

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