Tray with Figures in a Landscape
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
H. 1/8 in.; Diam. 10 5/8 in.(27 cm)
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
The narrative quality of the imagery on this tray, which represents two young gentlewomen and their attendants walking on a moonlit evening towards a gentleman in a pavilion, suggest that it illustrates an unidentified, potentially romantic tale. The sketchy treatment of the landscape and fauna reflects the influence of woodblock prints, which often served to disseminate visual themes and motifs in the sixteenth century.