Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Chinese Ancestor Portraits Of Official, Wife, Mother

Chinese Ancestor Portraits Of Official, Wife, Mother


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Paintings: Pre 1920: Item # 686337

Please refer to our stock # 60-53 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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PO Box 2175
Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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 $600.00 
This Chinese ancestor painting mounted on a hanging scroll groups together a civil official, his wife and his mother. Although ancestor portraits usually show only a man and wife together or on separate paintings made to be displayed side by side, we have seen a few that include two women and a man. Our catalogue listing #08-60, a very large ancestor painting on hemp, shows a similar group of three. We just assume the second woman is the mother and, in the hemp piece, one woman obviously is much older. In this painting, age difference is not so apparent, so it is possible that the second woman could be wife number two. Only the woman on the left wears a rank badge and an elaborate headpiece and robe, indicating higher status than the woman on the right. The scroll is painted in the classic manner, with everyone facing forward, unsmiling, the man's hands and shoes showing, the women's covered. The rank badges are those of a civil official. Done on rice paper mounted on a silk scroll, the painting has large areas of vibrant color and minimal background, giving it a contemporary feel. The robes may have been pre-painted and the faces done later when the family commissioned the work, as was often the case with ancestor portraits. It is from the early 20th century, either the final years of the Qing Dynasty or the early Republic Period, and is in very good condition. The silk border of the scroll measures two and one-half inches (six cm) on either side of the rice paper. Dimensions of the full scroll: height 87" (221 cm), width 43" (109 cm). Dimensions of rice paper: height 62" (158 cm), width 38" (97 cm). Height of the painted figures is 39-1/2" (100 cm).