Tray with Eighteen Scholars of the Tang, Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay, China

明早期 黑漆嵌螺鈿學士圖八方盤
Tray with Eighteen Scholars of the Tang

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
15th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
Dimensions:
H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); Diam. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm); Diam. of foot 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.57
Not on view
In the foreground, three scholar-gentlemen, identified by their clothing, are traveling on horseback toward a gate attended by two figures holding large fans. They are likely planning to join the five similar figures in the middle ground examining a painting displayed by two young attendants. Ten additional scholars are depicted on this dish, which illustrates the theme of the Eighteen Scholars of the Tang, a renowned historical group that served as advisors to the Tang emperor Taizong (r. 627–49).
[ Klaus F. Naumann , Tokyo, until 1988; sold to Irving]; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1988–2015; donated to MMA}
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer," December 2, 2006–April 1, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: An Introduction," December 4, 2007–May 11, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Introduction to Chinese Lacquer," December 11, 2013–July 6, 2014.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th–18th Century," August 15, 2015–June 19, 2016.