- Banshan Jar
This splendid large jar with its dynamic patterns is known as Banshan (bahn-shan) ware. Banshan is an area in the
present-day Gansu (gahn-su) province of northwestern China,
where pottery of this kind was first found.
- Tomb Figure of a Bactrian Camel
This sculpture of a Bactrian, or two-humped, camel was probably made as a burial object for a tomb of a wealthy person from the Tang dynasty.
- Seated Guanyin
This wooden sculpture depicts the Buddhist figure Guanyin, an enlightened being called a bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas put off entering paradise in order to help mortals attain enlightenment.
While the original function of this thin, delicately designed bowl
is not clear, its conical shape, steep sides, small base-ring, and wide mouth may indicate that it was used to serve wine.
Shen Zhou (shen-joe), a famous literati painter of the Ming dynasty, created this grand landscape. His style is distinctively simple, letting a few delicate brushstrokes describe shapes, textures, and volume.
- Reception Hall
This exquisite chamber, built in the early 1600s, was once the main reception hall in a palatial compound in Beijing, China's capital.
- Seated Lady Holding a Fan
This watercolor painting depicts a Chinese lady of the Qing dynasty. The phoenix designs on her fine silk gown and the four-clawed dragon image on the blue-and-white porcelain stool indicate that she was a highborn person of noble rank, and other motifs in this painting tell us that she was well educated and highly cultured.
- Dog Cage
This cage on wheels most likely housed a favorite pet dog of a Chinese nobleman. Over 60 five-clawed dragons—symbols of the Chinese emperor—fill the blue and turquoise designs, created using a complicated enameling technique called cloisonné.
- Moon Crystal
This large crystal represents the moon delicately balancing on a base of wispy clouds, among which hides a rabbit. A poem by Xie Zhuang (shee-eh jua-ang, 421–466) is incised on the surface, setting to verse several Chinese myths and stories about the moon.
- Doaist Priest's Robe
This image shows the back of a beautifully embroidered robe of the type worn by Daoist high priests when officiating at religious rites and ceremonies. The robe is filled with images of auspicious symbols of the Daoist religion.