late 1400s-early 1500
(Chinese, c. 1430-c. 1500)
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
Painting: 240 x 195.5 cm (94 1/2 x 76 15/16 in.); Overall with knobs: 280 x 204 cm (110 1/4 x 80 5/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1974.31
The peahen is plucking a dandelion.
A great variety of birds, including the peacock and peahen, are portrayed in a natural setting. The grandiose scale of this work suggests its was originally used as interior decoration. It's possibly part of a set depicting flowers and birds of the four seasons; this is the spring scene. When used in the imperial context, works of similar type may constitute part of a large composition with the theme of "one hundred birds admiring the phoenix," which provided a metaphor for human society and an idealization of hierarchical order under the imperial rule. The artist Yin Hong was a court painter and the third generation of a painters' family that served in the Ming imperial court.
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