Screens with a variety of decoration, inset with paintings, textured paper, lacquer panels and textiles were used in China as partition walls or geshan in houses and palaces. The kesi panels of the present lot fit within the tradition of the Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795) court workshops, which produced a wide range of luxury textile pictures for the decoration of the emperor's private residences. These in turn are linked to the practice of copying paintings in fine woven or embroidered textiles that can be traced to the collecting activities of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) emperors, who established textiles as a category of art works. The time consuming kesi or slit and dove-tail silk tapestry technique is a tour de force of the weavers craft.
Many of such screens are illustrated in the Illustrated catalogue of the Architecture and Decoration of the Imperial Palace, Interior Design, Beijing, 1995, pp. 126-177.