Painting: 167.2 x 98.4 cm (65 13/16 x 38 3/4 in.); Overall framed: 189.3 x 114.5 cm (74 1/2 x 45 1/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Two eagles, painted in fine brushwork, perch on top of rocks surrounded by water, flowering camellia, and other vegetation, brushed in sweeping and broad strokes. Among birds, a favorite subject in Chinese painting, depictions of eagles can be traced back to at least the fourth century.

Due to dramatic sociopolitical changes during the foreign-ruled Yuan (1279–1368) and native Ming dynasties, an elaborate symbolic language of the eagle developed. It can represent a vicious attacker, a courageous hero, or an enlightened emperor. In this painting, the two eagles are depicted peacefully resting in a lofty position, perhaps an idealistic image for a wise emperor and empress.



China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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