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1741, 4th month
China: Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
- Dimensions (H x W x D)
painting: 46 5/8 in x 25 3/4 in
- Inscriptions & Markings
signature: Jinmen huashi Leng Mei, brush, lower left
signature; date: Painted and inscribed in the metal-bird year , fourth month, by Cheng Liang of Huating, brush, upper right
- Collection Area
- Object Type
- Credit Line
Bequest of Margery Hoffman Smith
- Accession Number
In this most intriguing scene of an upper-class interior, a family drama is quietly played out before our eyes. The father, a court official, relaxes at his desk, scepter in hand. Behind him, one servant girl carries a tray which seems to hold the peaches of immortality; rounding his couch is another young woman who holds a lingzhi, "the fungus of immortality"--both fanciful symbols of long life. The lady of the house is also attended by two servants, while the children--two young boys--and two dogs frolic. A large round window looks out to the garden beyond. At the lower left is an inscription naming Ling Mei, who was a famous figure painter of the early 18th century; but at the upper right, written as though posted on the wall, is a longer inscription identifying the artist of this work as Cheng Liang and dating the painting to 1741. Scholarly opinion is divided as to the authorship of the painting. Cheng may have copied the composition from an earlier painting by Leng Mei. - M. Graybill, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art, 7/17/2013.