Valance embroidered with moresques

Valance embroidered with moresques

Valance embroidered with moresques
Probably Italy
1500–50
Museum no. 4513-1858

This long panel of embroidered velvet forms part of the luxurious set of furnishings from a bed. Its design, embroidered in gold-wrapped thread, is a type of Renaissance ornament known as moresque which was frequently used on embroidered textiles. Here the design is formed from scrolls which interlace into a geometric pattern which repeats symmetrically across the panel. The scrolls terminate in fleshy palmettes. Rather than closely copying an original Islamic design, this pattern is an unmistakably Renaissance creation, but succeeds in imparting a strongly Islamic feel.