Boy with leaves and box


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219

Two boys each holding a lotus or a leaf in one hand and a box in the other are popular images symbolic of harmony and union. Known as the Two Immortals of Harmony (He-He Erxian)—in reference to the characters for these virtues, both of which are read he—this pair is also thought to have been inspired by the legendary Tang dynasty (618–907) Buddhist monks Hanshan and Shide. (pair with 42.90.32a, b)

Boy with leaves and box, Horn, China

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