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A RARE IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED SILK HANGING OF FLOWERS GROWING FROM ROCKWORK
A RARE IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED SILK HANGING OF FLOWERS GROWING FROM ROCKWORK

18TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED SILK HANGING OF FLOWERS GROWING FROM ROCKWORK
18TH CENTURY
The rectangular panel finely embroidered in satin stitch in muted tones of blue, brown, cream and coral, depicting a court style painting of rocks and flowers, worked in satin stitch with layered rocks at the bottom edge rising from a stream rendered by a delicate pattern of concentric laid-down threads creating the effect of running water from which grow orchids, and a group of rocks jutting into the picture frame from the left issuing a large blossoming peony branch with drooping leaves, with small accents of turquoise paint along the edges of the rockwork to depict lichen, with a four-character inscription in black ink in the upper right hand corner reading, fanxiang shujin (fragrance permeating brilliance) below a Qing court collection seal mark in red, Qianlong Yu Lang Zhi Bao and above a red seal mark Yuqing Gong, within an orange silk border
40 1/2 x 21in. (103 x 53.4cm.), mounted on board

Lot Essay

The Yuqing Gong was built during the Kangxi period under the guidance of Prince Yi, and was subsequently a residence of imperial princes. It was Prince Hongli's (Qianlong) residence aged 12-17. The emperor Jiaqing lived there as a child, together with his brothers. After Qianlong's retirement, he moved back into the Yuqing Gong. During the Tongzhi and Guangxu periods, this palace was used as an Imperial library until Guangxu eventually made it his own official residence.

The drawing on this finely worked embroiderey is clearly a product of the tradition of copying court paintings in fine woven or embroidered textiles which began as early as the Song period. As in the present lot, many of these Song-inspired compositions have a dynamic tension between the worked surface and the empty background. See, for example, two embroideries included in A Special Exhibition of Embroidery, National Palace Museum, Taiwan, pp. 40 and 70. See, also, footnote to lot 220.
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