Exhibitions/ Art Object


mid-18th century
Indian (Coromandel Coast), for the European market
Cotton embroidered with silk
135 x 103.5 in (342.9 x 262.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of Mrs. Frank Clark, 1957
Not on view
Extraordinarily detailed, this embroidered palampore was chain stitched in silk on cotton to imitate a painted palampore with remarkable precision. The embroiderers even used white silk stitches within the flowers to simulate the tiny white reserve patterns that appear on painted examples. Instead of springing from the usual hilly mound, this tree grows out of an interpretation of a Chinese scholar’s rock, highlighting the overlapping of Chinese, Indian, and European motifs in eighteenth-century “exotic” textiles. This bedcover has a long history of American ownership: it descended through five generations of Boston’s Dix family in miraculously good condition before it was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1957.