Skip to Main Content

Embroidery with Birds

Overall: 157.5 x 25.7 cm (62 x 10 1/8 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share


These engaging little birds are embroidered in a naturalistic style that developed during the 8th and 9th centuries. All but one are oriented away from the central pair that flanks a tulip growing from a hill. Contrasting with the spontaneity of the birds is the structured pattern of the silk ground—rosettes within a lozenge grid. Such contrasts frequently occur among embroideries of the Tang dynasty. Also characteristic of embroideries from that period is the use of discrete areas of color with no attempts at shading. The form of the birds, the hill, and the flower are based on Persian models. The introduction of foreign motifs into the decorative arts of Central Asia and China was one of the most important results of active trading in precious objects along the Silk Road.
Embroidery with Birds

Embroidery with Birds


China, Tang dynasty (618-906)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.