700s - 800s
Embroidery, silk thread on silk ground
Overall: 157.5 x 25.7 cm (62 x 10 1/8 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1994.96
Embroidery with Birds
Embroidery; silk thread on silk ground
Eastern Central Asia or China, 700s-800s,
Tang Dynasty (ad 618-907)
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1994.96
(Cat. no. 48)
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
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.
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