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Wall Hanging or Curtain Fragment with Orpheus and Eurydice
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Wall Hanging or Curtain Fragment with Orpheus and Eurydice


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This tapestry roundel was likely one of a set that decorated a larger household textile, such as a curtain or wall hanging. Curtains and wall hangings were used in private homes, as well as in public and religious buildings, to prevent drafts, divide spaces, and provide privacy. The tapestry weave of this piece is ideal for such textiles, as it produces a design that can be viewed from either side. Though the majority of the population was Christian by this time, figures from classical mythology continued to decorate objects of daily use. Especially popular were portrayals of pairs of famous lovers. Here, the attribute of the lyre identifies the male figure as either Orpheus or Apollo, indicating that the female must be either Eurydice (Orpheus's wife) or the nymph Daphne (loved by Apollo), or perhaps one of the nine Muses, frequently associated with Apollo.
Exhibitions
  • Beyond the Pharaohs: Egypt and the Copts in the Second to Seventh Centuries A.D.. Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1989.
  • Byzantine Women and Their World. Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge. 2002-2003.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
5th-6th century (Early Byzantine)
Medium
wool, linen Warp: 1 ply undyed linen spun left Weft: 1ply undyed linen spun left Weft: 1 ply wool (purple, red, gren, saffron, brown) technique Tapestry on Tabby (warps is thus taken alternatively)
(Textiles)
Accession Number
83.466
Measurements
19 1/16 x 20 7/16 x 1/16 in. (48.4 x 51.9 x 0.1 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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