Since the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), fine horses have symbolized military power and imperial authority in China. For this reason, powerful steeds were a popular subject at the early Ming court. Frequently such paintings show sleek animals grazing, often tethered to willow trees. Perhaps such images were intended to connote an empire at peace, when warhorses were not required to subdue insurrection or combat foreign invaders
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal
George D. Pratt , New York and Glen Cove, NY (until 1929)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Text and Image: The Interaction of Painting, Poetry, and Calligraphy," January 23, 1999–August 16, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance," January 23, 2009–September 13, 2009.