For Chinese painters, images of plants and animals could convey human aspirations, seasonal themes, or—through visual puns or rebuses—wishes for well-being and good fortune.
The 17th- and 18th-century handscrolls in this rotation may have shared some literary or cultural allusions, but they nonetheless reflected very different artistic traditions and clienteles, whether by a professional artist for a commercial patron or as a birthday gift for a member of the educated elite. One scroll is most intriguing in the extraordinary verisimilitude of its creatures, as well as in its authorship—two sisters renowned as poets as well as painters.
The focused exhibition also features several round, handled fans of the type made for wealthy and fashionable men and women of 19th-century Shanghai.
Exhibition overview from museum website