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Chinese Carved Battle Scene Panel

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Pre 1910: item # 699512

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Chinese Carved Battle Scene Panel
A battle scene with three bearded warriors on horseback brandishing three different types of long swords is carved in deep relief on this Qing Dynasty wood panel. The riders are choreographed in an exaggerated action dance, with arms flung wide holding their weapons over their heads. A theatrical touch can also be seen in the horses, which have realistically carved heads and bodies but oddly stylized front legs. Considered together, the riders' stances and their horses legs give this panel more the feel of a scene from an opera than the representation of an actual battle. The panel obviously was originally part of a larger piece, perhaps a screen or a door. Such old woodcarvings, often with gilded figures carved in relief on a dark red background, are grouped under the general category of "temple carvings," although many of them were not in temples but were rescued when houses or other buildings were demolished. This one, from the late 19th/early 20th century, has been framed and is in good condition. Dimensions: height 6-1/2" (17 cm), width 16" (41 cm).


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