Textile with Animals, Birds, and Flowers

Date: late 12th–14th century

Culture: Eastern Central Asia

Medium: Silk embroidery on plain-weave silk

Dimensions: Overall: 14 5/8 x 14 7/8 in. (37.1 x 37.8 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1988

Accession Number: 1988.296


This textile demonstrates the longevity of motifs in eastern Central Asia. The placement of animals—a spotted horse, a rabbit, and two deer (or antelope)—at its cardinal points is a compositional device that began to appear in the region during the Han dynasty. The birds on the piece, especially the parrot, entered the Central Asian repertoire during a second period of strong Chinese influence, the Tang dynasty. The floral background's central motif of lotus blossoms, a lotus leaf, and a trefoil leaf was seen in Central Asia and North China but became widespread during the Yuan dynasty.