Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk

Full Title: 
搗練圖; Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk
Culture: 
Style/Period: 
Materials: 
Ink, color, and gold on silk
Techniques: 
painting; silk (fiber)
Dimensions: 
37 cm (height) x 145.3 cm (length)
Notes: 
This scroll depicts three groups of ladies working on newly woven silk, namely pounding, sewing and ironing silk. Two young maids assist the ladies by keeping the charcoal hot and the silk stretched; a little girl amuses herself by horsing around. Gongcan (palace sericulture) was a symbolic imperial duty performed every spring by the empress. In this ritual, she would lead palace ladies in all stages of silk production, from raising the silkworms to making dresses from the newly woven material.
Inscriptions: 
Colophon by Zhang Shen (active ca. 1400-1499), Gao Shiqi (1645-1703), and Luo Wenbin (1845-1903). Inscription at the begining of the scroll: Emperor Zhangzong (1190-1209)
Repository Accession Number: 
12.886
Rights: 
Special Chinese and Japanese Fund
Description Source: 
University of Chicago Center for the Art of East Asia
Scrolls Project ID: 
728 339