Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

1.26.2014

Chinese Borders

[Images copyright the V & A]

What to look at first? The flowering branches and the hanging bird cage?


Or the floating basket of fruit decked out with a chic red tassel?



Maybe the exquisitely detailed floral border that brings into focus the 18th-century silk coverlet's central element, that ethereal tree?

Made in Guangzhou, China, the handpainted cloth was likely a bedcover, according to the V & A, and aesthetically it has a lot in common with export wallpapers from the same region. Just the other day, Emile de Bruijn posted news of an upcoming exhibition, Peeling Back the Years, that looks like a must see for UK bound Chinese wallpaper junkies. As always, Emile's wallpaper posts are filled with striking images rarely seen elsewhere. And in case you missed it last year, this one dealt with a really specific design element that has an awfully cool sound: mottled bamboo trelliswork borders. At least I think anything with "mottled" in front of it sounds intriguing.

4 comments:

The Devoted Classicist said...

It is an amazing variation on what we call "Tree of Life" in western culture. And how interesting that the motif was so often associated with bed hangings, etc.

Toby Worthington said...

Fascinating, brilliant, delicious.
Now we know where John Fowler got his inspiration
for one of his client's painted bathroom walls~ where he worked on it himself, on canvas, for Mrs Wetheral as shown in World of Interiors.

Madame in Bangkok said...

It is an amazing version of "arbre de vie " . Beautiful pattern

odile said...

yes it may be very similar to the tree of life , arbre de la vie or albero della vita ; however what makes it really very exceptional il the artisanship of being hand painted - il the wallpaper also handpainnted !!!