Altar Frontal of brocaded brick red satin. In the main panel one large five-clawed dragon in gold surrounded by loose clouds in shades of green, blue, and tan. Below, a shallow area of rolling waves among which appear the Eight Precious Things. At the top a short pleated valance bearing five-clawed dragons and longevity characters in the panels formed by the pleats. Linings of blue cotton and thin pink silk. Illegible seal on back.

Altar Frontal, early 18th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

silk, satinexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  42.8.147

Not on Viewexpand_more

Decorative textile panels like this were used to enliven altars in homes and temples during festive occasions. Most frontals are composed of two sections: a valance (upper section) and a main register, which are decorated with symbols appropriate to the use of the altar. Formal frontals like this one containing imperial dragon imagery were probably used on the ancestral altar tables of the nobility or within Confucian and Buddhist temples under court patronage.

Details
Title
Altar Frontal
Role
Artist
Dimension
L.36-7/8 x W.30-3/8 in.
Accession Number
42.8.147
Curator Approved

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Altar Frontal of brocaded brick red satin. In the main panel one large five-clawed dragon in gold surrounded by loose clouds in shades of green, blue, and tan. Below, a shallow area of rolling waves among which appear the Eight Precious Things. At the top a short pleated valance bearing five-clawed dragons and longevity characters in the panels formed by the pleats. Linings of blue cotton and thin pink silk. Illegible seal on back.