Box Lid with Competition Scene

China

Not on view

The scene on the lid represents the moment in ancient Chinese history when Li Yuan captured the hand of Princess Dou by shooting two arrows, each of which penetrated the eye of a peacock. Painted in brilliant shades of red, blue, and green, the rural scene shows Li Yuan shooting at a peacock depicted on a screen while the princess and her attendants watch from the safety of a pavilion. Li Yuan later became Emperor Gaozu (r. 618–26) of the Tang dynasty (618–906), and the theme is an important one in Ming-period decorative arts.

Box Lid with Competition Scene, Polychrome lacquer painted with oil colors, China

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