Woven (kesi) couplet

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Probably Qianlong reign, 18th century
Silk and metallic threads (kesi weave)
H x W (each): 207.5 x 27 cm (81 11/16 x 10 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift in honor of Elizabeth and William S. Weedon by Marion and Stanton P. Nolan
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Costume and Textile, Furniture and Furnishing

Hanging scrolls (pair)

China, couplet, Qianlong reign (1736 - 1796), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
Provenance research underway.

The exquisite quality of the tapestry weaving, which uses fine gold-wrapped thread, and the style of the calligraphy suggest that these scrolls may have belonged to someone at the court. The poem alludes to the abode of immortal beings in order to express the author's gratitude for receiving an imperial summons. Gold calligraphy against a blue ground is a traditional palette for Buddhist sacred texts (sutras). Used for this secular text, the colors likely imparted an aura of reverence...

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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