Ceremonial Gate
On View In:
Gallery 217
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Ceremonial Gate  
Date:   1728  
Medium:   Handcarved tile  
Dimensions:   192 x 114 x 35 in. (487.68 x 289.56 x 88.9 cm) (approximate)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 217  

This Ceremonial Gate separated two inner courtyards in a Chinese upper class house. A gate like this one would have faced a main hall such as the Wu Family Reception Hall, located nearby.

The carved tile scenes below the roofline celebrate the prosperity of a land-owing family. Depicted on the top register are the four noble agrarian professions: scholar-official, farmer, woodcutter, and fisherman. Seated at his desk the scholar-official gazes out over his garden, the farmer tills his fields with his ox, the woodcutter swings his axe, and the fisherman casts his net. The second register is composed of an inscription that reads "in celebration of bestowed glory (1728)". Two panels flank it, one a landscape scene that includes a spotted deer, a symbol of longevity in Taoist philosophy.

Object Description  
Classification:   Architecture  
Creation Place:   Asia, China, Suchou Region, ,  
Accession #:   98.61.3  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts