Mandarin ducks and lotus

The artist of this painting remains unknown, but the inscription states how the fan ‘described the living’, suggesting that it was painted in front of real mandarin ducks and lotus. Paintings of lotus are especially popular in summer months, as the light fragrance of lotus is said to cool people down. In literature, paintings, and textiles, mandarin ducks are usually depicted in pairs to signify the intimate life-long partnership of brothers or couples.


Further reading

Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 2.22 on p. 226, illus. p. 227 fig. 2.22

Reference URL

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