Gail Rothschild paints portraits of late antique egyptian textiles
Bode Museum, Berlin, DE
Gail Rothschild, Adoration, 2021, New York, Brooklyn, Acryl auf Leinwand, © Gail Rothschild
Egyptian tapestries from the Museum für Byzantinische Kunst’s rich textile collection are the source of inspiration for New York artist Gail Rothschild’s new series of monumental paintings. By juxtaposing her work with original ancient textiles from the 4th‒9th centuries, a fascinating dynamic emerges between the artefacts of a past culture and contemporary artistic production.
While searching for new sources for her large-scale works, Gail Rothschild came across colourful textiles from Late Antique Egypt with a rich range of imagery. They had fascinated many important artists, art collectors, fashion designers and people working in theatre during the period in which they were discovered around 1900. The Museum für Byzantinische Kunst (Museum of Byzantine Art) in Berlin owns the largest Late Antique Egyptian textiles collection in Germany. It was compiled in the final years of the 19th century as part of Wilhelm von Bode’s plans to establish a department with Late Antique and Byzantine art and everyday objects at the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum, slated to open in 1904. Its core consisted of more than 80 textiles from the collection of Carl Reinhardt, the former German consul in Cairo. Bode acquired these objects privately and gave them to the new museum. The textile collection grew in the following years through acquisitions and gifts from private individuals, as well as inventory transfers from the Ägyptisches Museum (Egyptian Museum) and the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts). Today it comprises around 2000 objects.
Gail Rothschild, Head and Shoulders, 2019, New York, Brooklyn, Acryl auf Leinwand, © Gail Rothschild
Gail Rothschild, Portrait, 2022, © Gail Rothschild