Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Textile with Confronted Birds

Tang dynasty (618–907)
early 8th century
Silk embroidery on plain-weave silk
Overall: 12 1/4 x 12 1/8 in. (31.1 x 30.8 cm) Mount (with plexi cover): 15 x 14 1/2 in. (38.1 x 36.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1996
Accession Number:
Not on view
Although symmetry is a basic element of Chinese design, the motif of a pair of confronted animals or birds on either side of a plant was not known in China until the opening of the silk routes in the second century B.C. The pattern seen on this embroidery—birds standing on lotus blossoms (a motif derived from Buddhist art)—was popular in the early Tang period.
Cleveland Museum of Art. "When Silk Was Gold," October 20, 1997–January 4, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," August 3, 2004–November 15, 2004.

Related Objects

Bowl with Dragons among Waves

Date: 10th century Medium: Stoneware with carved and incised decoration under celadon glaze (Yue ware) Accession: 18.56.36 On view in:Gallery 204

Dish in the Shape of a Leaf

Date: late 7th–early 8th century Medium: Silver with parcel gilding Accession: 1974.268.11 On view in:Gallery 207

Head of a Bodhisattva

Date: ca. 710 Medium: Sandstone with pigment Accession: 42.25.12 On view in:Gallery 206


Date: 9th century Medium: Stoneware with splashed glaze (Jun ware) Accession: 1972.274 On view in:Gallery 204

Bodhisattva, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Date: ca. 550–560 Medium: Sandstone with pigment Accession: 65.29.4 On view in:Gallery 206