Silk textile with geometric pattern
London, England, United Kingdom
Victoria and Albert Museum
Hegira 8th–9th / AD 14th–15th century
Woven silk textile.
Length 56 cm, width 47.5 cm
A silk textile with a lampas weave, satin ground and weft-faced tabby pattern. Yellow strap-work bands on a red background create a dazzling geometric interlace design in which eight-pointed stars figure prominently. Other colours, such as pink, green, and a silvery blue, are used to create contrasts and highlights. Textiles like this one were made in the Nasrid period in southern Spain and North Africa. They continued to be valued throughout Europe long after the fall of the Nasrid dynasty; this particular example was hanging behind a statue of the Virgin Mary in Florence, Italy as late as the 19th century.View Short Description
A silk textile woven with an elaborate geometric pattern based on eight-pointed stars. Textiles like this were woven in southern Spain and North Africa during the Nasrid period. This example may have served as a hanging to enliven an architectural setting.
Comparison with other Spanish and North African textiles.
Received from Dr Bock in 1864.
The Nasrids ruled in Spain.
Arts Council of Great Britain, The Arts of Islam, London, 1976, p.81, cat. no. 18.
Barry Wood "Silk textile with geometric pattern" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;uk;Mus02;5;en
Prepared by: Barry WoodBarry Wood
Barry Wood is Curator (Islamic Gallery Project) in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He studied history of art at Johns Hopkins University and history of Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University, from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2002. He has taught at Harvard, Eastern Mediterranean University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has also worked at the Harvard University Art Museums and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. He has published on topics ranging from Persian manuscripts to the history of exhibitions.
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: UK2 05
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Muslim West | Court Life Geometric Decoration | Geometric Decoration in Textiles
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)