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Mythic deer with fawn
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1600-1700
Historical Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)-Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 4 3/8 in x W. 2 1/2 in x D. 1 in, H. 11.1 cm x W. 6.3 cm x D. 2.5 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B62J7
On Display: No

Description

Label:

A grayish-green hetian jade with a warm, waxy surface has been proficiently worked into a three-dimensional form. The craftworker used the best-quality jade for the upper body and left the flaws and infusions for the lower section without retouching the surface to conceal any flaws. In a remarkable feat of sculpting, the artist has captured the notion of mythic beauty by using cloud whirls in three areas: on the tops of the two horns, draping from the mouth down to the shoulders, and floating around the base of the pedestal. The openwork under the mouth and between the legs and chest emulates a frequent practice in jade sculpture. The striations of the hair, the deep grooves around the eyes and mouth, and the clear wide cuts that form the clouds echo techniques used for detailed features since the Bronze Age.

Deer roamed the northwestern region and were the most characteristic image in Zhou jade. A Zhou jade deer, with its head looking back or bearing a large horn surmounted by flamelike projections was frequently featured on small pendants and plaques (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 2, plates 224–27). After the central plains region split into many countries during the Zhou dynasty (1100 bce–221 bce), the hunting life of the Zhou people did not have much impact on art. In fact, deer forms vanished from jade until the minorities came back to the central plains fifteen centuries later, around the 1300s. Then this legendary beast was believed to represent prosperity and longevity.
The careful proportions of this piece capture a lyrical communication between the deer and the faun, avoiding the severe depictions of immortal creatures in classical works and substituting a more modern emotional expression of the subject


More Information

Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010
Label:

A grayish-green hetian jade with a warm, waxy surface has been proficiently worked into a three-dimensional form. The craftworker used the best-quality jade for the upper body and left the flaws and infusions for the lower section without retouching the surface to conceal any flaws. In a remarkable feat of sculpting, the artist has captured the notion of mythic beauty by using cloud whirls in three areas: on the tops of the two horns, draping from the mouth down to the shoulders, and floating around the base of the pedestal. The openwork under the mouth and between the legs and chest emulates a frequent practice in jade sculpture. The striations of the hair, the deep grooves around the eyes and mouth, and the clear wide cuts that form the clouds echo techniques used for detailed features since the Bronze Age.

Deer roamed the northwestern region and were the most characteristic image in Zhou jade. A Zhou jade deer, with its head looking back or bearing a large horn surmounted by flamelike projections was frequently featured on small pendants and plaques (Zgyqqj 1993, vol. 2, plates 224–27). After the central plains region split into many countries during the Zhou dynasty (1100 bce–221 bce), the hunting life of the Zhou people did not have much impact on art. In fact, deer forms vanished from jade until the minorities came back to the central plains fifteen centuries later, around the 1300s. Then this legendary beast was believed to represent prosperity and longevity.
The careful proportions of this piece capture a lyrical communication between the deer and the faun, avoiding the severe depictions of immortal creatures in classical works and substituting a more modern emotional expression of the subject


Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010