Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dragon Medallion

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Silk and metallic-thread tapestry (kesi)
Overall: 15 x 15 in. (38.1 x 38.1 cm) Mount: 18 x 17 1/2 in. (45.7 x 44.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
Not on view
In a symbolic landscape of clouds, waves, and mountains, a powerful five-clawed dragon (long) grasps a flaming jewel. Although the edges of the textile are now concealed by the mount, the dragon roundel was woven in the same circular shape and was probably meant as part of the decoration of a robe. Ming-dynasty records mention dragon medallion robes for the use of members of the imperial family, and Ming emperors often wore them in official portraits.
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