Art/ Collection/ Art Object

元末明初 佚名牧羊圖團扇頁 絹本設色
Sheep and herd boy

Unidentified Artist
late Yuan (1271–1368)–early Ming (1368–1644) dynasty
14th century
Fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on silk
9 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (24.1 x 24.8 cm)
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
Under a pair of willow trees, eighteen sheep spread across a summer meadow, some munching on grass, some nursing, others relaxing. While they rest, the young shepherd climbs one of the willows in pursuit of the contents of a bird’s nest. The overall tone is highly auspicious: the number eighteen suggests prosperity, while the mothers with children point to a wish for many offspring. The symbolism would have made this a suitable gift, particularly in the Year of the Ram.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated:

John C. Ferguson , until 1913; sold to MMA]
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. "Celebration of the Year of the Ram," January 17, 2015–April 12, 2015.

Related Objects

Hinagata chō (Model Book)

Date: 19th century Medium: Watercolor and ink on paper Accession: JIB138 On view in:Not on view

The Style of Woman's Fashion

Medium: Black and white illustrations with captions; ink on paper Accession: JIB154 On view in:Not on view

Illustrated book

Medium: Ink drawings Accession: JIB156 On view in:Not on view

Album of Sketches for Lacquer Decoration

Date: 1839 Medium: Ink and color on paper Accession: JIB134 On view in:Not on view

Karaki Masaemon

Date: 19th century Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP212.49 On view in:Not on view