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Title

Birthday Portrait of a Young Manchu Lady: Gallery Label - Current

Author

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Date

2009-03-23

Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
As indicated by the subject's blue robe adorned with circular shou (longevity) characters, this exquisitely detailed portrait was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of the aristocratic young woman, shown seated at a black-and-gold lacquer table on a garden terrace. She has a fashionable hairstyle and several objects of expensive refinement. On the table near her elbow are a snuff bottle, fan, ruyi (wish granting) scepter, and a porcelain flower vase. At her feet are a blue-and-white jardinière, and an unusual tissue container or sewing box, possibly of Western derivation. Both objects are profusely decorated with butterflies, an auspicious motif, whose character (die) is a pun for the word meaning "age seventy to eighty," another way of wishing someone a long, happy life.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: May 15, 2009