Square tray with birds in a garden, Carved red and yellow lacquer, China

明晚期 剔彩花鳥紋漆盤
Square tray with birds in a garden

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
16th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Carved red and yellow lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); W. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm); D. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.7
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 221
This complicated decorative composition features two pairs of pheasants and sparrows and a background of fruit trees, flowers, and a stylized rock, a sign of an upscale garden. These motifs represent wishes for longevity, riches, and worldly success. The lacquer is built of red layers over yellow ones, and the artist carved to varying depths to expose the colors. An interest in bright color combinations, also found in ceramics and textiles, characterizes the art of the late Ming dynasty.
[ R. H. Ellsworth Ltd. , New York, 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.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer," July 18, 2005–November 14, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: Painted and Carved," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer," August 6, 2009–February 21, 2010.

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. "Chinese Lacquer: Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th–18th Century," August 15, 2015–June 19, 2016.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century," June 15, 2016–October 9, 2017.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer," October 21, 2017–July 22, 2018.

Asian Art (35,454)