It's beautiful, right? So what is it?
I'm just going to quote Schuyler Camman, who was a Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania before his death in 1991. He was an anthropologist and art historian and he did some ground-breaking work on Chinese symbolism including magic squares and the meaning of cloud collars. I'm planning to tell you more about the symbolism of cloud collars in his amazing article in another post.
Anyway, Camman says,