Length of painted silk

Chinese, possibly Canton

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 533

The wealthy throughout Europe adored Chinese silks, which were exported in massive numbers by the Spanish, the Portuguese and the British. Finely woven, and delicately painted by hand with exquisite floral motifs, designed to resonate with European taste, this type of patterning was described as “sprigged” in trade records. Glossy taffetas like this were used in Europe as dress fabric and as wall hangings.

Length of painted silk, Woven silk taffeta, painted with pigments, gilt and silver, Chinese, possibly Canton

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