A Palace Concert Anonymous, Tang dynasty

  1. Hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk,
  2. 48.7 x 69.5 cm

This painting depicts ten ladies of the women's quarters from the inner palace. They are seated around the sides of a large rectangular table served with tea as someone is also drinking wine. The four figures at the top are playing a Tartar double-reed pipe, pipa, guqin zither, and reed pipe, bringing festivity to the figures enjoying their banquet. To the left is a female attendant holding a clapper that she uses to keep rhythm.

Although the painting has no signature of the artist, the plump features of the figures along with the painting method for the hair and clothing all accord with the aesthetic of Tang dynasty ladies. Considering the short height of the painting, it is surmised to have originally once been part of a decorative screen at the court during the middle to late Tang dynasty, later being remounted into the hanging scroll seen here.

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