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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Coptic Art : Late Antique Coptic Textile Fragment
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Late Antique Coptic Textile Fragment - PF.2108
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 4 th Century AD to 7 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6.25" (15.9cm) high x 5.5" (14.0cm) 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 the 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 lovely textile, which once adorned a tunic, depicts a stylized fruit tree flanked by two graceful birds. In the arid desert world of Egypt, such a tree represented a cool oasis, a paradise. This might be a variation on the "Tree of Life" theme, or possibly a representation of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Worked in rich reds and greens, it puts us in intimate touch with a vanished world. - (PF.2108)


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