Textile with animals and woven inscription


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On this colorful textile, several lively creatures climbing cloudlike mountains are interspersed with Chinese characters that form an incomplete auspicious inscription. The pattern of animals and clouds was popular on Chinese silks from the Han to the Jin dynasty (ca. 1st–3rd century). Textiles with such patterns have been found at archaeological sites all over China, including in the far west, and were often referred to in contemporary documents by complete or partial inscriptions. The inscription on this work includes the characters for ming guang (brightness), which is thought to denote the Ming Guang Palace, built for Emperor Wudi of the Han dynasty. The inscription honors the lord of the palace.

Textile with animals and woven inscription, Warp-faced compound plain weave silk, China

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