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Alexander the Great on Horseback

Alexander the Great on Horseback

700s

Dyed wool, undyed linen; plain weave and slit-tapestry weave

Overall: 28.9 x 24.5 cm (11 3/8 x 9 5/8 in.)

Gift of The Textile Arts Club 1959.123

Description

Featuring imperial Byzantine themes, this rare roundel originally decorated a tunic. Genii (guardian spirits) crown the mounted horseman in military dress while an animal runs below. The inscription at the top identifies the horseman as Alexander the Great (356-323 bc), a popular cult figure in Egypt for centuries. The pattern’s mirror-image symmetry indicates the influence of costlier Byzantine silks.

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