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Textile fragment, late 10th century

Textile fragment, late 10th century; cAbbasid, Probably Iraq, Cotton, plain weave with painted inscription

Textile fragment, late 10th century; cAbbasid, Probably Iraq, Cotton, plain weave with painted inscription

Cotton textiles from the eastern Islamic world were often inexpensively decorated with simple painted brushstrokes. The painted surface decoration of these textiles imitates the more luxurious type with embroidered silk inscriptions and also employs the same cAbbasid epigraphic style.
The inscription on this fragment is legible. “Perfect blessing” is the basic unit which is embellished with superfluous undersweeps that echo the naturally curved script as it is repeated. The final letter of the word “blessing” (baraka) is extended to punctuate another series of repetitions created in the zone above the main inscription. It is possible that this visually pleasing pattern filled the length of the textile.

  • Islamic Textile Fragment

About the Author
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, in the City of New York. The Museum's collection of Islamic art ranges in date from the seventh to the nineteenth century. Its nearly twelve thousand objects reflect the great diversity and range of the cultural traditions of Islam, with works from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India. Comprising sacred and secular objects, the collection reveals the mutual influence of artistic practices such as calligraphy, and the exchange of motifs such as vegetal ornament (the arabesque) and geometric patterning in both realms.
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