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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Coptic Art : Late Antique Coptic Textile Fragment
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Late Antique Coptic Textile Fragment - PF.2114
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 4 th Century AD to 7 th Century AD
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high x 7" (17.8cm) wide
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Textile

Location: United States
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For centuries, the native weavers of Egypt were famous for the richness of their work. Using intricate patterns and vivid colors, Coptic weavers created masterpieces of textile art. Coptic textiles, used for rugs, wall hangings and clothing appliques, were exported throughout the Roman and Byzantine empires. However, the finest surviving examples come from Egypt itself, where a dry climate has preserved the delicate fabric. Intimate in scale yet monumental in vision, these woven pictures speak of a world alive with color and movement. This large bichrome fragment makes vigorous use of natural floral patterns. The central image is of an abstract vine, a metaphor for both the Christian Church and the cult of Dionysus. The outer border continues the floral theme with another highly stylized vine image. It is impossible to guess who might have worn this lovely panel on their tunic. It seems the perfect metaphor for the transition between the Classical Era and the Christian one. - (PF.2114)


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