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  • Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music

    Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music

    Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music

    Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music

    UNIDENTIFIED COURT PAINTER
    Chinese, Ming dynasty
    Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music, 1368-1400
    Handscroll; ink and light color on silk
    Seals: three interpolated seals of Qian Zuan (about 1235-after 1300)
    Museum purchase
    1936.4

    Copyright Notice

    The great Tang emperor Ming Huang (reigned A.D. 712-56) was an outstanding patron of the arts, and music flourished at his court. This subject- women orchestral musicians playing for the emperor and his concubine Yang Gueifei- is known in several versions that go back from Ming through Song (A.D. 960-1279) to a famous Tang (A.D. 618-907) painting, or a Five Dynasties (A.D 907-960) prototype (now lost). The work illustrated here, which recalls the painting of the Yuan dynasty (about 1280-1368) court, has features that signal a new interpretation of an older style: sophisticated poses, complex relationships between figures, exquisite calligraphic drawing, and harmonious colors. Three seals affixed to the end of the scene, attributed to Qian Xuan, are modern additions.

    -EdeSS

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