Panel of Bizarre Silk

Accession Number

Panel of Bizarre Silk


Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1700-1715

Medium & Support
silk, silver and gold threads

40 3/8 in. x 20 7/8 in. ( 102.6 cm x 53 cm )

Credit Line
The Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection

Subject matter
The wildly complex pattern of this textile exemplifies a popular type of brocaded silk produced from ca. 1695 to ca. 1720 throughout western Europe, and particularly in France. Dubbed "Bizarre Silks" by later historians, these silks were inspired in part by oriental textiles. The patterns were changed annually to suit the changing fashions of the very wealthy, who used Bizarre Silks as material for both women's and men's dress.

Physical Description
This brilliant coral-colored silk features an elaborate brocaded pattern consisting of exuberant sprays of flowers in yellow, blue, white, and gold thread joined to bunches of fruit and other ornament woven with silver thread. The ground is enlivened by a damask pattern of more schematic vegetal and geometric ornament that echoes these dominant motifs.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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brocade (textile)
costume (mode of fashion)
silk (textile)
textiles (visual works)

3 Related Resources

Fashion and Adornments in Global History
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Early Modern European Court Life
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

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