Tapestry square with Castor and Pollux - ROM2011_11818_16


Tapestry square with Castor and Pollux

Maker: Coptic
Medium:Linen and wool tapestry
Geography: Perhaps made in Akhmīm, Egypt
Date: 5th century
Period: Late Antique - Early Byzantine
20 x 18.8 cm; Mounted dimensions: L=27.5 x W=27 cm
Object number: 910.131.8
Credit Line: The Walter Massey Collection
Not on view
DescriptionThe heavenly twins, sons of Zeus, are characteristically shown wearing soft conical caps, short tunics, boots, and short flying cloaks while galloping on horseback. They are framed by a classical vine scroll inhabited by centaurs and animals of the hunt. The specificity of the iconography, the variety of animals depicted (lion, ibex, boar, hare, and leopard), the interaction between the figures (with one brother turning back to look at the other), the naturalistic proportions, and lively movement of the figures seen in perspective (in three-quarter view), are all features indicating an early date.
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