Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Daoist Priest’s Robe with Dragons and Clouds

late 17th century

Silk with silk and metal thread embroidery

Length in Back: 56 1/8 in. (142.5 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
Three large dragons and several smaller creatures writhe against a background of clouds on this ceremonial garment. The dragon on the back of the robe has the character for longevity (shou) above his head, and those for wealth (fu) and happiness (lu) in his upraised right and left paws. Daoism, which derives from the Chinese character dao, meaning “way” or “path,” is a term for long-standing beliefs and practices that coalesced between the second and the fourth century C.E. These include metaphysical and philosophical speculations, the ability to become a fully realized individual or sage, the quest for immortality, and more basic pursuits, such as wealth and happiness.
Not on view
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955) New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 301, ill.

Loretta N Staples, A Sense of Pattern: Textile Masterworks from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981), 10–11, no. 1, ill.

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.