Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
late 18th century
Silk tapestry (kesi) with ink and colors
69 1/2 x 28 1/2 in. (176.5 x 72.4 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Wilton Lloyd-Smith, 1954
Five of the cranes flying above this landscape hold sticks in their beaks, while the others may have already placed their sticks in the vase in the center of the left panel. The presence of sticks and cranes, symbols of longevity, and the use of bright green and blue coloring help identify this landscape as a mythical realm inhabited by immortals. A legend about a man who measured his age by the number of sticks he stuck into an island may be the source for the imagery on these panels. Some of the details were painted rather than woven, a labor-and cost-saving method often employed on tapestries during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
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