Magnificent 18th Century Antique Chinese Animal Rug, Country of Origin: China, Circa Date: 18th Century – This gorgeous antique Chinese rug from the 18th century is a treasure for many reasons. The gorgeous blues and ivory background create a feel that reflects the natural setting depicted on the artistic pictorial rug. This is a truly magnificent piece for its subject matter, composition, and several other elements that make it stand out.
The Chinese people have always had a reverence for nature and the calm serenity that it brings. Through the ages, their artwork has captured this same tranquil feeling in the colors, motifs, and placement of the symbols. The artist who created this animal design area rug strayed from the usual symmetrical placement of elements with a formal border and field.
This piece is a smaller size area rug and may have been designed to be hung on a wall and viewed as a tapestry rather than used as a carpet. At the bottom of the rug, we see reflections of rippling waves of water that nourish the plants and animals throughout the rest of the piece.
The rug reflects the elements that we find in the natural world. The trees are a reflection of the wood element. You can also see rocks throughout the piece that represent earth. The element of wind is represented by the motion shown in the bending of the branches of the trees and the fallen leaves. The water element is reflected in the clouds and water feature at the bottom of the piece. It reflects a balance between dark and light elements, with the entire piece presenting a harmonious and balanced feel.
The Chinese cranes at the top of the piece represent immortality. The horses are an important design element found throughout Chinese mythology. The horse is one of 12 symbols of the Chinese Zodiac, and people born during those years are said to be under the sign of the horse. As you can see, this is more than simply a pictorial piece of artwork. It was created to evoke a certain feeling and convey certain ideals that are important to Chinese culture.
The symbol at the bottom of this magnificent rug from China also draws our interest because in it are the directions of the four winds and the five elements represented by the lotus flowers. The Chinese believe that five elements make up everything on Earth and that these elements have a certain energy that is in everything. The five elements are metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. The style of the artwork is meant to be expressive with an emphasis on capturing the emotion of the element rather than presenting a realistic representation.
This is a fascinating antique rug for several reasons, and it would be a perfect piece for your Asian-themed room. It is a traditional piece of artwork that reflects the ideology and symbolism found in many pieces of Chinese artwork throughout the ages. This is a magnificent piece and an exceptionally rare find for your collection.