Islamic Spain, probably Almeria, Almoravid period, 12th century / Lion Strangler from a Large Hanging / 1100sIslamic Spain, probably Almeria, Almoravid period, 12th century
Lion Strangler from a Large Hanging

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Creator Nationality: European; Iberian; Spanish
Creator Name-CRT: Islamic Spain, probably Almeria, Almoravid period, 12th century
Title: Lion Strangler from a Large Hanging
Title Type: Primary
View: Back
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: 1100s
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Textiles
Materials and Techniques: lampas: a combination of two weaves, a variant plain weave and a variant plain weave; silk and gold thread
Dimensions: Overall: 43.8cm x 39.7cm
Inscriptions: the inscription (incorrectly written) appears to read "al-'amir" (command, i.e. authority) [alternately retrograde and vice versa].
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1950.146
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Provenance: from tomb of St. Bernard Calvo, Bishop of Vich, who died in 1243; this fragment from one of vestments found in tomb at the Cathedral of Vich when it was opened at the end of the 19th century. (Paul O. Berliz, New York).

This rare silk symbolized the imperial power of the Muslim rulers in medieval Spain. In roundels framed with winged animals and precious pearl borders, a man is shown strangling lions with his arms. The word "power" in the elegant Arabic inscription band reinforces the mighty lion-strangler, who was derived from ancient Near Eastern imagery. This textile is part of an esteemed group of 12th-century silks based on its distinctive weave, the colors of the silk thread-crimson and green design on an ivory ground-and the select use of gold thread for the man's face, hands, belt, and feet, plus the lions' faces. The fragment was part of a rich set of vestments with Islamic designs found in the late 19th century in the tomb of Saint Bernard Calvo, Bishop of Vich (1233-1243), which is located near Barcelona, Spain.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1950.146
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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