Hanging scroll; ink, colors and gold on silk
Painting only: 96.5 x 44.1 cm (38 x 17 3/8 in.); Overall with knobs: 231.8 x 73 cm (91 1/4 x 28 3/4 in.)
Gift of The MCH Foundation 2017.65
Due to the warm and humid climate in China’s southeast, silk workshops specialized in making airy gauze garments, like the one worn by Yang Guifei here.
This painting relates to the legendary love story between Tang dynasty (AD 618–906) emperor Xuanzong and his consort, the beautiful Yang Guifei. Yang’s nude body can be seen through the transparent red robe as she leaves the bath. Her servant offers her a bowl of soup; cross-dressed as a male scholar, her earrings reveal that the attendant is in fact a girl.
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