In style of Wu Yuan-yu (Sung Dynasty artist).

Swan and Cygnets, 14th-15th century


Ink and color on silkexpand_more

Gift of Miss Alice O'Brienexpand_more  62.70.7

Not on Viewexpand_more

By the Song dynasty (960-1280), the Chinese had perfected a pictorial art form called huaniao (flower-and-bird painting). Chinese artists combined a highly descriptive approach to rendering plants and animals with themes that had psychological implications. Based on a composition by the 11th-century artist Wu Yuanyu, this carefully executed painting of a swan and cygnets forms a pair with another scroll of the same subject matter. The compositions express a psychological bond between parent and child that is emblematic of the traditional Confucian value of family unity. Large, paired paintings such as these were commonly hung in the reception halls of aristocratic homes as well as palaces during the early Ming period.

Swan and Cygnets
Artist Life
active 1080-1104
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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In style of Wu Yuan-yu (Sung Dynasty artist).