Boy with water buffalo


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 222

Auspicious symbols and visual puns expressing good wishes are recurring themes in Chinese decorative art. A delightful example is this white nephrite sculpture that depicts a small boy gently prodding his companion, a large water buffalo, with a stalk of rice. The ears of rice symbolize a good harvest and rhyme with the Chinese word for “year” (sui), thus implying the wish for “a good harvest year after year” (sui sui nian feng).

#952. Boy with Water Buffalo

Boy with water buffalo, Jade (nephrite), China

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