Byzantine Silk on the Silk Roads

By Sarah E Braddock Clarke & Ryoko Yamanaka Kondo (editors)

With over 200 color illustrations, Byzantine Silk on the Silk Roads examines in detail the eclectic iconography of the Byzantine period and its impact on design and creativity today. Through an examination of the extraordinary variety of designs in these captivating silks, an international team of experts reveal that Byzantine culture was ever-moving and open to diverse influences across the length of the Silk Road. Commentaries from curators at key collections – including the Museum of Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian (Cooper Hewitt), the V&A and the Vatican – reveal the spread of silk embroidery and designs from East to West, and from West to East, from China to Rome, and from Constantinople to Korea. Drawing on exclusive imagery from worldwide collections within museums, churches and archives as case studies, their analysis of these unique woven silks explores the relationship between color and power, material culture and status, and offers broader insight into Byzantine culture, trade, society and ceremony.

Byzantine Silk … takes us on a journey from the past to the present, too, where Byzantine story-telling and image-making is revisited, through color, imagery and pattern, in contemporary fashion collections. Exploring Byzantine culture through a contemporary filter, the book shows how the Byzantine era still influences textile and fashion designers today in their choices of materials and colors, and their utilization of images and patterns, acting as a unique source of inspiration to designers and creators in the 21st century.

400 pages
hardcover, colour illustrations


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