A Palace Concert
Anonymous, T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618 907)
Color on silk. Hanging scroll. 48.7 x 69.5 cm.
Twelve ladies of the court have gathered around a table to enjoy a relaxed "concert." Four musicians at the far end of the table are playing the flute, lute, zither, and panpipes to the rhythmic sound of clappers played by the woman standing to the left.
According to the Ch'ing dynasty (A.D. 1644 1911) Catalogue of the Imperial Collection (Shih-ch'u pao-chi), A Palace Concert was originally attributed to an anonymous Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1279 1368) painter. Today, however, the painting is attributed to the late T'ang, since it exhibits certain features characteristics of the period. For example, the women are of a plumpness requisite to contemporary standards of beauty, which also dictated the application of white facial powder on the forehead, nose, and chin. The ladies' elaborately coifed hair and their style of clothing, as well as the overall color scheme of the painting, also suggest that this is a late T'ang work
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