Gibbons and Deer

Unidentified artist

Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

Not on view

This painting is a rebus or pictorial pun, that conveys a wish for success on an examination. The Chinese title of the painting, Yuan lu ("gibbons and deer"), is a homophone for the expression "First [place gains] power." Thus, the painting must be read as a text, its images read as words.

Gibbons and Deer, Unidentified artist Chinese, 13th century, Album leaf; ink and color on silk, China

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