late Yuan (1271–1368)–early Ming (1368–1644) dynasty
ca. 14th century
Silk and gilt paper
Overall: 58 7/8 x 25 1/4 in. (149.5 x 64.1 cm)
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1997
Not on view
This patchwork panel comprises various silk textiles, mostly satins and damasks, exquisitely embroidered with the motifs of flowers, fruit, and the occasional butterfly in a technique called needle looping. Worked in silk over gilt paper, the technique allows the luminous gold to show where loops are intentionally skipped. The patches in this Chinese example seem to have been constructed and embroidered as self-contained units that were stitched together to form a larger panel. By contrast, Korean patchwork cloths are usually fashioned from fragments of unadorned, rather than embroidered fabrics, though there are non-patchwork bojagi fashioned from a single cloth with embroidered decoration.
This textile was probably used in a Buddhist context but its precise function is unknown. A comparable example, traditionally associated with the Chinese monk Wuxue Zuyuan (1226–1286), resides in the collection of the Buddhist temple Ekaku-ji in Kamakura, Japan.
[ David Salmon , London, until 1997; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," May 16, 2008–August 3, 2008.
Artist:Date: late 14th–15th century Accession Number: 1987.277 Date:late 14th–15th centuryMedium:Needleloop embroidery of silk, gold paper, and gold thread on silk satin damaskAccession:1987.277On view in:Not on view