Three metal, handled vessels with zoomorphic designs.

Left to right: Ritual wine pouring vessel (gong) with masks (taotie), dragons, and real animals, Anyang or middle Yangzi region, ca. 1100 B.C., bronze, Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer, F1961.33a–b; Ritual wine-pouring vessel (gong) with masks (taotie) and dragons, middle or late Anyang period, ca. 1100 B.C., bronze, Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.279a–b; Ritual wine-pouring vessel (gong) with masks (taotie), dragons, and real animals, middle Anyang period, ca. 1150–1100 B.C., bronze, Purchase—Charles Lang Freer Endowment, F1939.53a–b (National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings 

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Detail from a portrait of Empress Xiaoxian, showing shoulders, head, and headgear; she is vested in ornate jewelry and robes with rich colors and intricate designs; her headdress is decorated with pearl-studded golden birds, and a slight smile shows on her face.

Empress Xiaoxian (detail). China, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1771, with repainting possibly 19th century. Ignatius Sichelbarth (Ai Qimeng), Yi Lantai, and possibly Wang Ruxue. Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk. Peabody Essex Museum, gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Sturgis Hinds, 1956, E33619. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.

Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912

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F1944.46 Buddha

Buddha; China, Tang dynasty (618–907), early 7th century; hollow-core lacquer with pigment and gilding; Purchase—Charles Lang Freer Endowment; Freer Gallery of Art, F1944.46

Secrets of the Lacquer Buddha

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A detail of a scroll containing both images and calligraphy, depicting an old man seated on a rock and writing on a scroll stretched out by a child, as well as two men carrying jugs as they walk and converse with each other.

The Drunken Monk (detail), artist: traditionally attributed to Li Gonglin (傳)李公麟 (ca. 1049–1106); calligrapher: frontispiece by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711–1799); inscription: three inscriptions by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711–1799); colophon: two colophons by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711–1799), colophon attributed to Su Shi (1037–1101), colophon by Dongcun (13th–14th century?); China, Southern Song dynasty, mid-12th to mid-13th century, ink and color on paper, Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer, Freer Gallery of Art, F1968.18

Setting the Bar

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Partial view of a gold surface decorated with designs of birds and floral scrolls, with a medallion in the center.

Foliated mirror with birds and floral scrolls (detail), China, early or mid-Tang dynasty, late 7th–early 8th century, cast bronze and applied gold plaque with repoussé, chased, and ring-punched decoration, Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art, F1930.45

Center of the World

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Partial view of a hemispherical dark stone slab, intricately carved with linear designs of densely clustered figures, many of whom have halos.

Lintel possibly showing the Western Paradise of the Buddha Amitabha (detail), China, Shaanxi province, probably Xi'an, Tang dynasty, 8th century, marble, Gift of Charles Lang Freer, Freer Gallery of Art, F1913.137

Promise of Paradise

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