Deer by a Pine Stream

Unidentified artist

Not on view

The auspicious objects, animals, and flowers found in the imperial garden were often the subject of court paintings. In this miniature picture, a male deer and a female deer stand by a stream from which auspicious clouds emanate. The image seems to convey the message that in this cultivated, peaceful, and humane era, the nation is as idyllic as an imperial park. No doubt the painting functioned as part of a systematic program of imperial art designed to create a symbolic visualization of a cultivated emperor's reign.

Deer by a Pine Stream, Unidentified artist, Album leaf; ink and color on silk, China

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