Pomegranate Flowers Artist: Qian Zai (Chinese, 1708–1793)


Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

The artist’s inscription at upper right states that this painting is one of five hundred representations of pomegranates that Qian Zai painted when he was eighty years old. While the branches of the bush do not indicate a particular season, all of the flowers are in bloom, which suggests summer as well as the passage of time, because pomegranates take four to six months to bear fruit. Qian Zai’s fascination with the pomegranate theme in his later years may relate to their symbolism in Chinese visual culture: the character for pomegranate (zi) is a homonym of the character for son, and thus images of this fruit convey the desire for progeny and, by extension, longevity.


Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper; with ivory rollers


without mounting: 48 1/2 × 12 in. (123.2 × 30.5 cm)
with mounting: 76 × 18 in. (193 × 45.7 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Wango H.C. Weng

Accession Number



Qing dynasty (1644–1911)


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 records is ongoing.



Weng Tonghe Collection

  • George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 233, no. 443, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

Nature, botanical, hanging scrolls


one collector's seal lower right--Wango Weng


three seals of the artist: upper right: Qian Zai, Wansongzhishi; lower left: Tuoshi Shu Hua

Technical metadata and APIs


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