Liang Kai / Sericulture (The Process of Making Silk) / early 13th centuryLiang Kai
Sericulture (The Process of Making Silk)
early 13th century

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Creator Name: Liang Kai
Creator Qualifier: Attributed to
Creator Nationality: Chinese
Creator Role: Artist
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Liang Kai
Title: Sericulture (The Process of Making Silk)
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1200
Creation End Date: 1225
Creation Date: early 13th century
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: handscroll, ink and color on silk
Dimensions: Third Section: 27.3cm x 93.5cm, Second Section: 27.5cm x 92.2cm, First Section: 26.5cm x 92.2cm
Inscriptions: 3 colophons and 7 seals of Ch'eng Ch'i (20th c.).
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1977.5
Credit Line: John L. Severance Collection
Style or Period: China, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)
Context: Viewed from right to left, this handscroll illustrates stages in the production of silk, from the raising of silkworms to the weaving of silk cloth. The artist, Liang Kai, was painter-in-attendance from about 1201 to 1204 at the Painting Academy of Hangzhou.Section 1 (right): Women prepare silkworm eggs, placing them on trays that are stored vertically on a frame.Section 2 (center): In the house at the right, the silkworms are placed on trays together with mulberry leaves upon which they feed. The trays are then placed one above the other on a frame. In the top center section, spinning frames for the silkworms are being prepared. While one man ties bundles of twigs, others arrange the bundles on mats supported on frames. Eventually, the worms will be placed among the twigs to spin cocoons. At the left, cocoons are being placed in baskets. In the lower center section is a large jar fitted with a reed lid. It may have been used for damping cocoons-sealing cocoons in a jar with salt in order to kill the worms before they eat their way out of the cocoons.Section 3 (left): Four scenes are represented. Starting on the right, cocoons are being weighed while a child and three adults working at a table sort cocoons and place them in baskets. In the next scene, some cocoons have been placed in water heated by a fire to loosen the ends of the filaments. The man seated on a bench in front of a silk-reeling machine picks up several filaments to form a thread that is being wound on the reel. The third scene shows the process of spooling. Skeins of silk formed on the reel of the silk-reeling machine are stretched onto a wooden frame and then rewound onto small reels. The final scene, on the left, shows silk being woven.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1977.5
AMICA Library Year: 2003
Media Metadata Rights:

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