VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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T-shaped Painting on Silk
hunan01
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

1. With rich colors, vivid characters, ingenious space arrangement and exquisite painting techniques, this art work is crowned as a masterpiece of painting art from the early Han Dynasty as well as a first-level cultural relic. 2. This painting on silk reflects the funeral rites of ancient China. 3. As a painting on silk with the richest contents, this masterpiece can be divided into the heavenly world, the human world and the underworld. Depicted in the heavenly world are a golden crow (sun), a toad (moon), a fire dragon, a winged dragon, Si Hun (the gatekeeper of Heaven), Chang E who flies to the moon and more. In the human realm, Xin Zhui, the tomb’s occupant, is seen flying toward the heavenly world accompanied by three maids, while her family offers sacrifices and prayers for the safe ascent of her soul to heaven. And in the underworld we see a giant lifting the earth. Embodied with many myths and legends such as “Ten Suns In The Sky”, “Chang E Flying Up To The Moon”, “The Great Fire Dragon”, “Flood Control Of Gong Gong”, “ The Golden Crow, The Magical Bird”, and “The Toad In The Moon”, this painting earns its title as the “index to Chinese ancient mythology”。

History of the Object
Unearthed from Han Tomb No.1 at Mawangdui, Changsha City, Hunan Province, China

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Silk 
Measurements
92 cm. at top and 47.7 at bottom; 205 cm. high 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Hunan Province, China 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 3rd century ~ BCE 2nd century 
Creation date
BCE; 3rd Century BCE - 2nd Century BCE; 202 BCE-168 BCE 
Function
A T-shaped painting on silk, called feiyi (flying garment), was the banner carried in a funeral procession and then buried in the tomb for the purpose of calling back the spirit of the deceased. 
Acquisition
Unearthed from Han Tomb No.1 at Mawangdui in 1972 and in the Hunan Provincial Museum's collection since then. 
Copyright
Hunan Provincial Museum Copyright 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Museum
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Credit line
http://www.hnmuseum.com/hnmuseum/eng 
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