Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
Large Roof Tile End
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.)
Not on view
Tile ends are a decorative and functional component of traditional Chinese architecture. The example here is believed to have appeared at the end of a rooftop. The geometric relief pattern represents one of the two known decorative programs for such tiles. The pattern likely represents mythical yunqi, or “clouds and life energy,” a motif used to evoke immortality. Positioning such tile ends on a rooftop connected the building with the heavens, symbolizing it permanence.