The Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond at a glance is a modern metropolitan building that displays a vibrant exhibition of Byzantine art found in the Medieval and Byzantine wing. They are grouped together because they share a progression of time occurring in the heart of Europe roughly from the 1300s until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The exhibit begins with displays of medieval art of Western Europe. It further progresses to Byzantine art arranged in broad categories ranging from pre-Christian art, liturgical material, secular material and a display of coptic textiles. Although small scale, a few art pieces prominently featuring the human figure stood out in particular. The first art piece consists of a beautiful curtain fragment of coptic textile from the late Roman and early Byzantine 4th century. Woven textiles were commonly incorporated in Byzantine clothing tapestries, furniture coverings and curtains. The most expensive textiles were made of silk. Inexpensive textiles like the curtain fragment were made of linen and wool. Although dyed textiles were rare, they were colored with plant based dyes like saffron or minerals (Carrol, pg.57). The majority of textiles were created by the horizontal two-beam loom later to be replaced by the vertical loom and domed spindle whorl. The curtain portrays a muscular man with curly locks and exaggerated enlarged almond shaped eyes on a tapestry weave made of linen and wool in earthy tones of faded deep brown, red
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