Velvet Panel with Hunting Scene

Object Name: Tent panel

Date: ca. 1540

Geography: Attributed to Iran, probably Tabriz

Medium: Silk, flat metal thread; cut and voided velvet

Dimensions: Textile: H. 23 5/8 in. (60 cm)
W. 18 1/8 in. (46 cm)
Mount: H. 23 in. (58.4 cm)
W. 23 in. (58.4 cm)
D. 1 in. (2.5 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1972

Accession Number: 1972.189


This polylobed velvet panel is from the interior of a tent used by Kara Mustapha Pasha, an Ottoman military leader, during the siege of Vienna (1683); the tent is said to have been captured by the Austrians as war booty. Produced in a royal workshop in Iran, it may have been acquired by the Turkish as a gift or through trade. The Safavid court favored figurative velvets that depicted hunting, a recreational passion of Persian royalty. Here, this theme is delicately drawn and the velvet owes its supple quality to the density and complexity of the weave structure.