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Canopy with Phoenixes
China, Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
Embroidery, silk and gold thread
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Gift, Louis V. Bell and Rogers Funds, and Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, in honor of Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg, 1988 (1988.82)
cat. 184
© 1996 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
[click images for full object view]

Canopy with Phoenixes Canopy with Phoenixes

With its lavish use of raised gold threads, this embroidered silk canopy demonstrates the Chinese taste for luxurious textiles during the Yuan dynasty.

  Canopy with Phoenixes
The dynamic radial composition of two phoenixes circling in flight is enhanced by the bird’s curved wings and elaborate plumage.   Canopy with Phoenixes
Such motifs were popular in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, where they were used in a variety of media, such as the carved lacquer tray here.

[click images for full object views]

Canopy with Phoenixes
The same type of design is found in early-fourteenth-century Iran among the so-called Sultanabad wares (such as the Bowl with Four Phoenixes shown here); it is likely to have derived from the Chinese motif, with textiles such as this one serving as a means of transmission. Phoenix Bowl detail Canopy with Phoenixes


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