Painting: Ceremony at Tomb 祖先墳墓圖 - ROM2007_9611_1

ROM2007_9611_1

Painting: Ceremony at Tomb 祖先墳墓圖

Maker: Unknown artist
Medium:Hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk
Geography: China
Date: 17 or 18th century
Period: Qing Dynasty
Dimensions:
Ht. 164cm x Wt. 78.8cm
Object number: 921.32.103
Credit Line: The George Crofts Collection, Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren
Not on view
DescriptionThis painting shows three men sitting on rocks on a wooded hilly slope, outside the sealed entrance of a tomb (middle right). The man in a dark blue robe nonchalantly holds a wooden ruyi (wish-fulfillment) sceptre. The person in grey is holding a book and listening to the young boy at his side reciting passages from it. The third man holds a closed folding fan. Although these men’s postures are intended to be casual and varied, they do not match well with their rigid and frontally represented faces. All three men wear Ming-dynasty costume. The two older men are sixth- or seventh-rank civil officials, judging by the insignia badge with the image of an egret on the front of their robes. The younger man apparently does not hold any government position. Since people in the past generally did not wear official attire when visiting graves, the images of these figures may represent the occupants of the tomb. In Chinese belief, souls of the deceased would continue to do what they enjoyed doing while alive in the afterlife, here exemplified by a father instructing his son, and a service of tea being carried in. This group portrait would have been commissioned by a descendant in order to preserve the fond memory of his deceased relatives rather than for worship rituals.
Collection:
China
Browse Categories:Art & Music
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