seated tiger with no ears visible; gold brocade border

Tiger [left of a pair of Tiger and Dragon], 1868


Ink on silkexpand_more

Gift of Harriet and Ed Spencerexpand_more  2012.1.19.1

Dragon and tiger is a common pairing in East Asian art. According to the Chinese classic Yijing (Book of Changes), the dragon commands the clouds and therefore the heavens, while the tiger controls the wind and thus the earth. Together, the two creatures encompass the universe and were considered auspicious symbols.

In this pair of hanging scrolls, the tiger sits next to a small sprig of bamboo. Diagonal streaks of ink wash mimic the movement of wind. The dragon rises, barely revealing itself through breaks in the clouds. Its head emerges from splashed ink, offering a moment of visibility before it retreats into the heavens.

Tiger [left of a pair of Tiger and Dragon]
Artist Life
1798 - 1871
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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seated tiger with no ears visible; gold brocade border