Piece of pile–on–pile velvet, 16th century
Italian (probably Venetian)
Silk velvet with two heights of pile; 25 x 23 3/4 in. (63.5 x 60.33 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1946 (46.156.133)
Velvet with the pattern delineated solely by the contrast between two heights of the dense silk velvet pile was particularly popular in the sixteenth century. This pattern of lobed palmettes, sometimes incorporating crowns, was made into robes or sashes worn by the senators of the Venetian Republic. It was also used to make ecclesiastical vestments. The crimson shade is associated with the Venetian senators, but the Museum also has an example woven in deep blue silk.