Exhibitions/ Art Object

明晚期 黑漆嵌螺鈿人物故事圖葵口盤
Dish with Figures in a Landscape, probably a Scene from the Romance of the West Chamber ( Xixiang Ji )

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
16th century
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
H. 1/8 in.; Diam. 10 5/8 in.(27 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
Not on view
The scene on this dish, which shows a gentlewoman, her maid, and two young attendants walking toward a young man hiding near a pavilion on a moonlight evening, suggests a romantic tryst. It may derive from Romance of the West Chamber, China’s most popular love story. Written by Wang Shifu (ca. 1260–1336) during the Tang dynasty (681–907), it is a tale about star-crossed lovers: Zhang Sheng, a young impoverished scholar; and Cui Yingyin, the daughter of a high-ranking official.
Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
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