Monumental Ancestral Portrait

c. 1900
$8,680 USD
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W: 58.5" D: 2.0" H: 76.5"
Acrylic on Canvas
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Reflecting the role that ancestor worship played in Chinese culture, this Qing-dynasty painting depicts several generations of family, dressed in intricately-detailed and brilliantly colored garments. The oldest ancestors are largest in scale at the rear, while the youngest relatives are depicted smaller in scale seated in the front row. Although their formal postures are similar, each figure’s features are distinct, representing their distinct personal legacies. Suggesting the continuum of life and the common practice of ancestral rituals practiced in the home, the group is pictured in an interior room before an altar table, set with ceremonial offerings and an altar tablet bearing the names of distant ancestors.

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