Fragment of Silk Taffeta with “Rose and Nightingale” Motif


The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

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 <em>gul-u-bulbul </em>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.

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  • Title: Fragment of Silk Taffeta with “Rose and Nightingale” Motif
  • Date Created: 1700s
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 38.1 x 40.6 cm (15 x 16 in.); Mounted: 48.3 x 50.8 cm (19 x 20 in.)
  • Type: Textile
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1943.91
  • Medium: Silk and metallic thread: taffeta, brocaded
  • Department: Textiles
  • Culture: Iran, Safavid period (1501–1722)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Fred R. White
  • Collection: T - Islamic
  • Accession Number: 1943.91

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