Bedcover

The design of this bedcover is organized around a central medallion set within a large rectangular panel surrounded by wide borders. The figure of Touch, represented as a woman petting a small animal, is shown at the center, while female figures in the corners personify the other four senses: Smell, Hearing, Sight, and Taste. Each is dressed in a combination of Indo-Persian and European costumes and hairstyles that date to about 1630-40. The borders are populated by animals in chase and combat, a motif common to both sixteenth-century Persian carpets and seventeenth-century Mughal examples. Above and below the central medallion are two pairs of the fantastic simurgh, the magic bird of the Persian national epic, the Shah-nama.

Artist/maker unknown, Indian, for export to the Portuguese market

Geography:
Made in India, Asia

Date:
c. 1680

Medium:
Silk plain weave with silk embroidery in chain stitch

Dimensions:
9 feet 4 inches × 7 feet 2 inches (284.5 × 218.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1988-7-4

Credit Line:
Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1988

Social Tags [?]

There are currently no user tags associated with this object.


[Add Your Own Tags]

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This indigo-dyed silk bedcover embroidered with colored silks is a charming representative of a type of bedcover, made either in Lisbon by Indian embroiderers or in India for the Portuguese market, in which the five senses was the central theme. The mixture of European, Indian, and Persian motifs found on these textiles reflects the strong cross-cultural influences on design during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period of extensive exploration, settlement, and trade. The design of this bedcover is organized around a central medallion set within a large rectangular panel surrounded by wide borders. The figure of Touch, represented as a woman petting a small animal, is shown at the center, while female figures in the corners personify the other four senses: Smell, Hearing, Sight, and Taste. Each is dressed in a combination of Indo-Persian and European costumes and hairstyles that date to about 1630--40. The borders are populated by animals in chase and combat, a motif common to both sixteenth-century Persian carpets and seventeenth-century Mughal examples. Above and below the central medallion are two pairs of the fantastic simurgh, the magic bird of the Persian national epic, the Shah-nama. Dilys Blum, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 75.