Panel with the Chinese Character for Longevity (Shou)

Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
18th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Silk and metallic thread tapestry (kesi)
Dimensions:
Overall: 95 x 57 1/2 in. (241.3 x 146.1 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Tapestries
Credit Line:
Gift of Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.353
Not on view
Perfect for a birthday celebration and probably intended as a gift, this massive panel extends one of the most cherished wishes in Chinese tradition: longevity, in the form of the Chinese character for that blessing, shou. The tapestry is meticulously executed with gold threads that parallel calligraphic effects, including the use of smudged areas at the end of several strokes—a technique known as “flying white” that reveals the mobility and rhythm of brushstrokes found in writing.
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel , New York (until 1984; donated to MMA)
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. "Chinese Textiles: Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection," August 15, 2015–June 19, 2016.