Title:PanelArtist:Artist UnknownDate:18th centuryCreation Place:Europe, Italy, GenoaCredit Line:The Miscellaneous Works of Art Purchase FundAccession Number:90.114
It was the Italians in the 14th and 15th centuries who developed velvet weaving to the level of an art form. Technological advances, which enabled manipulation of individual pile threads, gave designers tremendous freedom to exploit the rich texture. Velvets, such as this panel which was made in Genoa, were used for everything from men's dress suits and women's ball gowns to wall coverings and upholstery fabric. Italy maintained leadership in the production area of heavy, rich opulent velvets for hundreds of years.