Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Qianlong period (1736–95)
H. 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
Bequest of Edmund C. Converse, 1921
Not on view
Represented often in the visual arts, the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove lived during the third century B.C. and were known for their scholarship, writing, and musical abilities. They are understood as exemplars of an unfettered and less corrupt lifestyle removed from the intrigue of the court. Here, the delicacy of the tiny bamboo stalks in the background and the use of these stalks to render depth exemplify the skillful bamboo carving characteristic of the eighteenth century.
Marking: maker's seal incised
Edmund Cogswell Converse , Greenwich CT (until d. 1921) bequeathed to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Excellence and Elegance: Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth-Century Qing Court," August 25, 2007–November 25, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.