Chinese, made for the European or American market

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 510

An impossible abundance of differently shaped blooms and fantastically patterned insects animates this Tree of Life. Embodying the expansion of global networks, this magnificent textile was executed by Chinese artists using Indian design conventions to appeal to European and American audiences. In size, format, tree shape, and figurative details, its design emulates painted and dyed chintz palampores created in India. This version, in contrast, features needlework, a skillset at which Chinese textile artists excelled. Like so many Indian dyed chintzes, this embroidered palampore was likely created for export to Britain, where it would have been admired as a bed covering.

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