The nandina, narcissus, rock, and magic fungus on this tapestry serve as homonyms for the phrase “heavenly immortals’ greeting of longevity” (tian xian zhi shou). At the lower right corner, there is a woven signature of Cui Ba, a painter who was active in the eleventh century and famous for his elegant renderings of flowers and birds. During the second half of the Ming dynasty, Cui’s paintings often served as subjects for tapestries, as can be seen in the emulation of brushstrokes on this extraordinary piece.
Inscription: woven inscription (lower right): made by Cui Bo
Marking: woven seal (lower right): by Cui Bo
[ John C. Ferguson , until 1913; sold to MMA]
New York. China House Gallery. "Kesi and Silk Tapestry," March 24, 1971–May 27, 1971.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Scholars' Rocks: Gardens, Studios, and Paintings," February 1, 2000–August 20, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Silk Tapestry (Kesi)," March 17, 2004–July 4, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art," February 27, 2010–November 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting with Thread: Chinese Tapestry and Embroidery, 12th–19th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.