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Asian Art
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Artist: Chen Mei, Chinese, ca. 1726–1742

Flowers, Birds, Reptiles, and Insects

1731

Album leaf, ink and color on silk

without mounting: 6 11/16 × 4 5/8 in. (17 × 11.8 cm)
B. D. G. Leviton Foundation
1988.2.1.1-.12
Chen Mei served as a court painter during the Yongzheng (1723–1735) and Qianlong (1736–1795) reigns and was granted the rank of Senior Secretary of the Imperial Household. A vogue for miniaturized objects developed during this time, perhaps as a result of antiquarian trends fostered by the Manchus in order to keep the Chinese occupied intellectually and fueled by the Qianlong emperor’s voracious collecting habits. This small album of flowers, birds, insects, and other animals shows the level of detail and technical finish that court artists could bring to the execution of miniaturized works.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Qing dynasty (1644–1911) Yongzheng period (1722–1735)
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Christie's sale #6518, 12/11/87; B. D. G. Leviton Foundation; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.