Resist-Dyed Hanging with Biblical Scenes

Resist-Dyed Hanging with Biblical Scenes

500-550

Resist-dyed linen; plain weave

Overall: 104.1 x 97.8 cm (41 x 38 1/2 in.); Mounted: 111.1 x 114.3 x 2.5 cm (43 3/4 x 45 x 1 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1951.400

Description

This hanging belongs to an elite group featuring biblical scenes that early Christians would have recognized. The upper register on the left shows a cross-legged stool in a fragmentary Adoration of the Virgin; as a Coptic inscription indicates, the Magi approach from the right. The middle register on the left may depict the Baptism of Christ while the other three figures separated by columns appear to illustrate the Miracle of Loaves and Fishes. Old Testament scenes in the lower register include Jonah and the Whale. The scenes were created using a resist-dye technique. A substance that dyes cannot penetrate was applied to the linen cloth. After the cloth was immersed in an indigo dyebath, the resist was removed, revealing the design on the undyed linen against the blue-dyed ground.

See also
Collection: 
T - Coptic
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Textile

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