Embroidered Dragons

I love Chinese dragons! Unlike the fearsome dragons in the West, which must be battled and slain, the Chinese versions are, if not friendly, at least not threatening.  Here a few representations of Chinese dragons in embroidery.

Imperial court robe (V&A museum)

Imperial court robe (V&A museum)

Most of the dragons here are imperial dragons, symbols of the Emperor himself. During the final Chinese dynasty, the Qing period from 1644 to 1911, the dragon could be found on almost every piece of Imperial clothing and regalia. This may have been due to the foreign Manchu rulers feeling that they had to constantly assert their legitimacy by using this very Chinese symbol of rule.

Dragons on an Imperial Parasol (Forbidden City, Beijing)

Dragons on an Imperial Parasol (Forbidden City, Beijing)

Many of these textile pieces are Imperial clothing and accoutrements from the V&A museum and the Forbidden City in Beijing. While these dragons vary in colour there is a sameness running through them as if the makers were very careful that the forms and expressions of their creatures matched the required type.

Imperial court robe (V&A museum)

Imperial court robe (V&A museum)

Other dragons that are not from the Imperial household are much more varied, often with wonderful, mad expressions as they manically chase their flaming pearls.

Dragons chasing a flaming pearl (Taoist priest's robe, V&A museum)

Dragons chasing a flaming pearl (Taoist priest’s robe, V&A museum)

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Embroidered Dragons

  1. Pingback: One Lonely Dragon | My Blog

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s