Sweden, Scania, Herrestads district
58 x 85 cm
Eye-dazzling designs have been used on textiles for more than a thousand years, more commonly in embroidery than in tapestry – Hungarian-stitch and Florentine ‘flame’ design embroideries, for example, but also kilim tapestries from south Persia. The effect appears almost contemporary, like a Bridget Riley painting, yet the juxtaposition of strong natural dyes gives these Swedish interlocked tapestries an added dimension that is both beautiful and unique. The lightning design was very popular throughout Scania, in a variety of forms and colours. There are four examples in the Khalili Collection, each from a different region, where the design fills the entire field. On five others, all from south-west Scania, it is used only in the borders.
V. Hansen, Swedish Textile Art: Traditional Marriage Weavings from Scania: The Khalili Collection, London 1996, cat. 28, pp.90–1.