Birds and Flowers

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Artist: Hua Yan (1682-1756)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1747
Album of ten leaves; ink and color on paper
H x W (Leaf a, Phoenix): 31.2 x 44.7 cm (12 5/16 x 17 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting


bird, China, flower, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
Provenance research underway.

Known since the Song dynasty (960-1279) as the "king of birds," the phoenix symbolizes the emperor's power and prestige. A number of objects are exclusively associated with this mythical bird, among them the paulownia (wu tong) tree, whose branches it is believed are the only ones upon which a phoenix is willing to perch.

Published References
  • Scientific Studies of Pigments in Chinese Paintings. Washington, DC. pp. 46, 47, 93, fig. A2.3.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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