Panel from a Large Curtain, Overlapping Leaves

300s–400s CE
Overall: 40 x 14.6 cm (15 3/4 x 5 3/4 in.); Mounted: 127.6 x 25.4 cm (50 1/4 x 10 in.)
Location: not on view
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These colorful overlapping leaves with interspersed buds along the sides originally formed a decorative panel in a large curtain. Together with several similar designs, they alternated with areas of undyed linen decorated with scattered wool and linen tapestry-woven motifs. Although decorative motifs were often woven into the ground fabric, this panel was sewn on afterwards. During the late Roman and early Christian period curtains with woven or applied decoration were used in churches and Christian meeting rooms to separate the clergy from the congregation. They were also hung in doorways and between columns both inside and outside. Their importance is evident in numerous portraits of religious figures and laymen represented between curtained arches.
Panel from a Large Curtain, Overlapping Leaves

Panel from a Large Curtain, Overlapping Leaves

300s–400s CE

Egypt, Byzantine period

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