Title:Folding ScreenArtist:Artist UnknownDate:late 17th centuryCreation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:96.124.1a-l
Monumental, twelve-panel screens became fashionable during the Kang-hsi reign (1662-1722) when they served as backdrops for formal gatherings. Each of the hinged panels framed a painting or calligraphy. This magnificent example may be the only huang-hua-li screen to have retained its original paintings. The panoramic scene depicts a son's (capping) ceremony taking place at an aristocratic villa. The open carving is finely finished on both sides, a rarity on large screens. Each of the upper and lower wood panels display hornless dragons surrounding a medallion with stylized shou (longevity) characters. Large screens of this type functioned as backdrops to formally arranged chairs and couches of important individuals and as backgrounds to altar tables.