Central Asia, mid-13th century / Cloth of Gold: Winged Lions and Griffins / c. 1240 - 1260Central Asia, mid-13th century
Cloth of Gold: Winged Lions and Griffins
c. 1240 - 1260

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. www.davidrumsey.com/amica offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at amica@luna-img.com .

Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Asian; Central Asian
Creator Name-CRT: Central Asia, mid-13th century
Title: Cloth of Gold: Winged Lions and Griffins
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1240
Creation End Date: 1260
Creation Date: c. 1240 - 1260
Object Type: Textiles
Materials and Techniques: lampas, silk and gold thread
Dimensions: Overall: 124cm x 48.8cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1989.50
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Context: Beginning in 1211, Genghis Khan invaded the Jin Empire, then proceeded across Central Asia to conquer eastern Iran and the territories east of the Oxus River (today Amu Darya) known as Transoxiana. The artisans and master craftsmen from conquered citieswere enslaved and distributed among members of the Khan's family and distinguished generals. The nomadic Mongols took these artisans, who fashioned luxury items and other highly desirable articles, to cities in Mongolia and eastern Central Asia. Historical accounts and travel narratives of the period mention them, yet little has survived of the objects, particularly the textiles, they produced.This magnificent cloth of gold is one of the few silk and gold textiles that can be associated with those craftsmen. It is woven with pairs of winged lions within aligned, tangent roundels and pairs of griffins in the interstices. The background is densely filled with scrolling vines and palmettes. Both the overall design and the animals are Persian; yet the cloud-like ornamentation of the lions' wings, the cloud scrolls at the terminals of the vines filling the background of the roundels, and the dragons' heads at the ends of the lions' tails are based on Chinese models. The synthesis of Eastern and Western elements is purely Central Asian, which is not surprising considering that captive craftsmen from the former Jin territories were working in the same cities as the captured artisans from eastern Persia and Transoxiana. The density of its design and the fact that the design was entirely woven with gold thread are characteristic of textiles produced during the Mongol period.The artistic and technical quality of this textile is unsurpassed among the silk and gold textiles that have survived from the early Mongolperiod. Given that it was once preserved in a Tibetan monastery, this textile was probably woven during the middle of the thirteenth century. The Mongols only began to make contact with Tibet in 1240 and did not sign a treaty until 1247. In honor of thatoccasion, gold, silver, and two hundred precious robes were given as imperial gifts to Tibetan monasteries. A few years later, starting in 1251, members of Genghis Khan's family began to patronize different Tibetan sects, which involved presenting gifts that, in those days, always included precious textiles. A textile of the extraordinary quality and value of this cloth of gold would almost certainly have reached Tibet as an imperial gift. A.W.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1989.50
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at www.davidrumsey.com/amica/institution_subscribe.html c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.