Date: 11th–12th century
Culture: Eastern Central Asia
Medium: Silk tapestry
Dimensions: 21 x 13 in. (53.3 x 33 cm)
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1987
Accession Number: 1987.275
The decorative style of this silk tapestry is typical of Central Asia, where motifs enjoyed great longevity and creative recombination. The form of the dragon, with its long snout and its tail hooked behind its leg, represents a Tang-dynasty convention that survived in Central Asia until at least the Yuan dynasty, founded in 1271 by the Mongol conqueror Khubilai Khan. Placing a dragon on flowers is most likely a Central Asian invention. The brilliant colors and the vitality of the animals are also characteristic features of tapestries of the region, which were probably produced by Uighurs, known for their splendid tapestry-woven clothing.