Asian Art

Jamavar Shawl

late 18th century

Interlocking twill tapestry weave; goat's wool

106.7 x 329.9 cm (42 x 129 7/8 in.)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1939.640
In the early years of Mughal rule, India turned to Persia for artistic guidance, encouraging the emigration of Persian artisans who brought with them the sensibilities of the Safavid court. Nevertheless, Indian weaving evolved separate styles and techniques that came to rival those of Persia. The textile arts were given great impetus under the Mughal rulers Akbar (ruled 1556–1605), Jahangir (ruled 1605–27), and Shah Jahan (ruled 1627–58), whose imperial ateliers produced shawls and sashes prized both in India and abroad. This shawl, a masterwork of design and technique, features a dense network of flowers compacted within narrow bands of red, white, and black. The geometricized blossoms, flattened and made angular by the twill tapestry weave, brilliantly tile the cloth’s surface, successfully integrating the fabric’s structure with its ornament.
Culture: 
Indian
Period: 
Mughal period (1526–1857)
Classification: 
Textiles
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

The Kashmir Shawl, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1975), 15–17, no. 9, fig. 6.

Loretta N Staples, A Sense of Pattern: Textile Masterworks from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981), 31, no. 25, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 283, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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