Philadelphia Museum of Art Custom Prints



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About the Artwork

This watercolor painting depicts a Chinese lady of the Qing (Ching) dynasty. The phoenix designs on her fine silk gown and the four-clawed dragon image on the blue-and-white porcelain stool indicate that she was a highborn person of noble rank. The phoenix was a well-known symbol of the empress, and only nobility were permitted to have depictions of four-clawed dragons on their possessions. Her luxurious surroundings—which include a couch with inset marble panels, an antique table from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), and a tall, lacquered wood stand with inlaid gilt filigree—reflect her wealth and elegant taste. Both dignified and demure, the lady looks at us with a slight smile in a manner appropriate for a woman of her class.

Other motifs in this painting tell us that this woman is well educated and highly cultured. To her right, a citrus fruit known as “Buddha’s Hand” scents the room, as do the rose and orchid cuttings in the celadon vase. A round lacquer box decorated with tortoiseshell— which may have once held incense—a gilded incense burner, and a cloisonné vase holding incense utensils are displayed on the wood stand. The neat stack of books, the bamboo design painted on her fan, and the fresh orchid blossom in her hair indicate literary inclinations. For scholars, bamboo was a symbol of virtue and integrity, and the orchid was long admired for its subtle appearance and fragrance. The artist Mang Hu-li has portrayed a woman who embodies the feminine ideals of refinement with modesty and charm with grace.

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About Our Prints

Philadelphia Museum of Art Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering so make sure to come back and see the new releases.
You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.

Member Discounts

As always, members will receive their discount for all transactions processed through our Custom Prints store. Simply enter your Member ID during the checkout process and your discount will be applied.