One of a pair of parakeets


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 220

During the Qianlong period, artisans working with cloisonné enamels expanded their repertoire to create three-dimensional representations of birds and other animals, depictions that have a long history in Chinese bronze casting. These parakeets could have been loosely modeled on prints of bronze antiquities, or inspired by the famous five-colored parakeet painted by Song-dynasty emperor Huizong (r. 1100–1126) as an auspicious omen. The polychrome possibilities of cloisonné enamels lent themselves particularly well to this colorful subject.

One of a pair of parakeets, Cloisonné enamel, China

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