King's Silk Art: Embroidery from Imperial China

Posted by Shengfei Zhu & Pia Fennell on July 31, 2013

Twelve-symbol imperial robe cut in Qing style, Chinese, late nineteenth century.

Silk embroidery is an ancient and integral part of China's cultural heritage, and has long been associated with royalty. For centuries, this craft has adorned the vestments and palaces of Chinese emperors and their families to signify their supremacy and set them apart from those they ruled. Here we look at some of the most influential pieces of imperial silk embroidery from China's history, and examine both their influence on imperial culture and Chinese art in general.