Apr 23, 2009
Apr 23, 2009

Fragment of Silk Taffeta with “Rose and Nightingale” Motif

Fragment of Silk Taffeta with “Rose and Nightingale” Motif


Silk and metallic thread: taffeta, brocaded

Overall: 38.1 x 40.6 cm (15 x 16 in.); Mounted: 48.3 x 50.8 cm (19 x 20 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Fred R. White 1943.91



A luxurious textile like this would have been used for courtly robes or coats in Safavid Iran. The bird-and-flower motif is known as gul-u-bulbul in Persian, meaning “rose and nightingale.” The motif references the poetic image of a nightingale plaintively singing to an indifferent rose as a metaphor for unrequited human love as well as the soul’s desire for mystical union with the divine.

See also
T - Islamic
Type of artwork: 

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