At the bottom of this crewel work bed hanging, rockeries alternate with hillocks enlivened by couchant deer and lions. Above, familiar squirrels and exotic birds, including peacocks and parrots, are hidden amid the large leaves and flowers.
Artist/maker unknown, English
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With its brilliantly rendered exotic foliage, this bed hanging shows the influence of the East on European decorative arts. The curtain was likely part of a set of dressings for a four-poster bed. The decoration resembles patterns found on Indian export textiles, such as chintz (floral printed calico cloths) and palampores (painted and dyed cotton bed coverings). The hanging’s interweaving branch pattern is a transposition of the Indian “Tree of Life” design, which features stylized branches growing upward from a central tree trunk. The conventionalized landscape along the bottom is similar to designs found on Chinese robes.