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Anonymous, Chinese 無款中國
(19th century)

“Ladies with Child in a Garden”
妇女與孩子在 园

Fan painting, ink and color on paper
14.8 x 51.5 cm. (5 7/8 x 20 1/4 in.)

Garden rocks, bamboo, and pines frame the central scene of two women, one carrying a young boy and the other a hoe and basket of flowers. They stand on a terrace enclosed by a stone balustrade presumably with river beyond. The use of color on the figures, and on the peonies growing just to the left, serves to emphasize this as the main narrative of the scene. The drawing is skillful, the composition well-conceived, and the mood happy as befits a painting featuring the secluded, protected, and privileged environment of imperial or upper-class lives. Although neither signed nor sealed, the style of the painting and the physiognomy of the figures suggests a dating to the 19th century.

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