Forty-Two Ancestor Portrait

c. 1850
$4,280 USD
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W: 58.5" D: 0.2" H: 96.0"
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This intricately detailed composition is a late-Qing dynasty ancestor portrait depicting several generations of a family's ancestry. The painting would have been displayed in the home as the object of familial ancestor worship. When properly cared for, ancestors were believed to be a powerful source of honor, protection, and good luck.

Arranged chronologically, these forty-two ancestors are shown dressed in formal attire and seated before a backdrop of lattice screens inset with landscape paintings. Spirit tablets are erected on the altar before them and incense and offerings are placed on the table behind them. The scene is enclosed by a furled slatted bamboo screen and red curtains held back by curtain hooks strung with silk tassels. Wonderfully detailed, the painting offers a delightful glimpse at Qing-dynasty architecture and interiors.

Unframed. Significant water damage to edges.

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