Crabapple, China rose, and Indian flycatcher

Shen Quan Chinese

Not on view

This sumptuous painting evokes a rebus, or multipart visual pun, that transforms it from a decorative image into one laden with meaning. The two long-tailed birds (shoudai niao 綬帶鳥) symbolize “double longevity” (shuangshou 雙壽), while the rose (yueji 月季) and crabapple (haitang 海棠) stand for “high hall” (gaotang 高堂), a respectful term for one’s parents. Taken together, the pictures encode a wish of “long life for your parents.”

Crabapple, China rose, and Indian flycatcher, Shen Quan (Chinese, 1682–after 1762), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, China

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.