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Red Thread Steals a Gold Box
19th century

Zhou Wenju , (Chinese, active mid-10th century)
Qing dynasty

Ink and color on silk
H: 156.0 W: 61.1 cm
China

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1911.264

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Based on the box she is carryong, the woman depicted in the painting is not the famous Mulan, but rather Red Thread (Hong Xian 紅線), heroine of a famous Tang dynasty story (quanqi), translated in The Golden Casket: Chinese Novellas of Two Millenia (Penguin, ), pp. 148–55.