Pair of Dishes with Scenes from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Yuan (1271–1368)–Ming (1368–1644) dynasty
late 14th century
Carved red and black lacquer
Each: Diam. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Not on view
The narrative scenes on this pair of dishes derive from Chinese history. At the center of one of the dishes, three figures stand before a hut. They are most likely Liu Bei and his two brothers, visiting the learned scholar Zhuge Liang. Liu Bei was the founder of one of the primary polities in China during the Three Kingdoms period (220–65), a tumultuous era that plays a prominent role in Chinese literature. It is likely that the scene was derived from woodblock prints. The scene on the other dish has not yet been identified.