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Asian Art

Textile Fragment with Bulls and Lions

7th–8th century

Silk, possibly weft-faced compound twill

30 3/4 × 19 in. (78.1 × 48.3 cm)
Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow
2017.54.18
Based in present-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the Sogdian people, an ancient culture that is known primarily by its language, were master traders along the Silk Road from the sixth to the eighth century C.E., establishing bases in China and elsewhere. Sogdian textiles often share compositions and designs—such as confronted animals—with those produced in nearby centers in Iran that were under Sasanian control, and it can be difficult to distinguish one from the other. However, the carbon dating and the detailing in the rendering of the animals’ bodies on this fragment point to the period just after the fall of the Sasanians in 641 C.E., when similar works were no longer valued in Iran.
Geography: 
Country ancient Sogdia, Uzbekistan
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
Central Asian, Uzbekistan, Sogdian
Classification: 
Textiles
Provenance: 

Carlo Cristi (Milan, Italy), Asian Week, New York, September 2011; Rubin-Ladd Foundation, Georgetown, Conn., to 2017; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Import documents on file.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2017.pdf (accessed December 1, 2017).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.