Online Collection

Collections



Asian Art Museum Logo
Plate with the Three Friends of Winter
Place of Origin: China
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Reign of the Tongzhi emperor (1862-1874)
Materials: Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration
Dimensions: H. 1 5/8 in x Diam. 6 7/8 in, H. 4.1 cm x Diam. 17.5 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Roy Leventritt
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B69P210L
On Display: No

Description

Label: The bamboo, pine, and plum are collectively known as the "Three Friends of Winter" (suihan sanyou ????) and are one of the most classic depictions in Chinese art. The pine and bamboo remain green in freezing weather, while the plum is the first to bloom each year, even as the snow persists. The Chinese admire their resistance to the elements, and consider the three to be outstanding models of fortitude and uprightness under adverse conditions. The "Three Friends" also represent longevity and rebirth year after year. Because the Three Friends of Winter symbolize bravery, perseverance, longevity, and integrity, they are said to represent the qualities of a scholar-gentleman as well as the three religions of China: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
HIDDEN MEANING: May the Three Friends of Winter bring you longevity!

More Information

Exhibition History: Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Imperial Arts, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011
Label: The bamboo, pine, and plum are collectively known as the "Three Friends of Winter" (suihan sanyou ????) and are one of the most classic depictions in Chinese art. The pine and bamboo remain green in freezing weather, while the plum is the first to bloom each year, even as the snow persists. The Chinese admire their resistance to the elements, and consider the three to be outstanding models of fortitude and uprightness under adverse conditions. The "Three Friends" also represent longevity and rebirth year after year. Because the Three Friends of Winter symbolize bravery, perseverance, longevity, and integrity, they are said to represent the qualities of a scholar-gentleman as well as the three religions of China: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
HIDDEN MEANING: May the Three Friends of Winter bring you longevity!
Exhibition History: Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Imperial Arts, October 7- December 31, 2006
"Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art," SFO United Terminal, June 4, 2010 - January 19, 2011
  • Continue Exploring the CollectionContinue Exploring the Collection