University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Chinese Painting [Object of the Day #116]

November 24, 2012



This painting, named “A Pair of Doves”  by Yi Yuanji, depicts two spotted doves (Streptopelia chinensis ) amid sprays of soft bamboo with a pile of rocks from which grows a small stunted tree. The time of year is most likely autumn or early winter. The signature of Yi Yuanji, 易元吉, is found on the face of the rock and reads: “Yi Yuanji of Changsha (長沙易元吉).” The painting also has two seals which cannot be deciphered and one of the Su Family, famous collectors in the Song Dynasty. The two birds are possibly a later addition. It bears resemblance to two other paintings Blue Magpie and Thorny Shrubs attributed to Huang Jucai (黃居寀) and “Magpies and Hare” by Cui Bai (崔白) .  For more information check out the article “A Pair of Doves: A Northern Song Painting Rediscovered” by Roderick Whitfield in the February 2001 edition of Orientations Magazine. 

Penn Museum Object #C119

See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database

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