Lacquered wood with polychromy
Overall: 132.1 x 124.5 cm (52 x 49 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1938.9
A different style of ritual art developed in the state of Chu in South China. In addition to bronze vessels, lacquered wood artifacts expanded the repertory of ritual implements. This extraordinary sculpture was probably a drum stand for supporting a suspended drum in ritual ceremonies. It is unique among other excavated drum stands of the Chu, which typically show two birds standing on tigers. The theme of the bird stepping on the serpent was common in the Chu visual culture. Yet the slender proportions and seemingly flimsy structure of this particular set raise the question of whether it was utilitarian or mostly served symbolic functions in the tomb. The birds' and serpents' bodies have designs painted in red lacquer and yellow pigment against the black lacquer. Scientific analyses confirm the additional use of a blue or green pigment that has been discolored over time.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.