Portrait of Father Zhang Jimin and Mother Zhao

Historical period(s)
Ming or Qing dynasty, Late Ming or early Qing dynasty (17th century or later)
Medium
Ink and colors on silk
Dimensions
H x W (overall without jiku): 322 x 128.3 cm (126 3/4 x 50 1/2 in) W (with jiku): 140.3 cm (55 1/4 in) H x W (image): 142.7 x 106.2 cm (56 3/16 x 41 13/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1991.73
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
China, man, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), portrait, Pritzlaff collection, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The flanking tablets on the altar table in the background give the names of the couple: Zhang Jimin is called "father" and his wife is identified by her maiden name as "Mother Zhao." The tablet in the center refers to Jimin's parents. Portraits depicting couples were popular during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), when this portrait was probably painted. Other elements in the painting, such as an awkward rendering of Zhang Jimin's belt and the strange perspective of the screen in the background (it is neither flat nor a typical three-panel folding screen), suggest that it might be a later copy.

The tall conical hat that Father Zhang Jimin wears has led some scholars mistakenly to identify this as a Korean portrait. That style of hat was long popular in Korea, but it was also common in seventeenth-century China during the Ming dynasty.

Published References
  • Jan Stuart, Evelyn S. Rawski. Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits. Exh. cat. Washington and Stanford. p. 59, fig. 2.6.
  • The Secret of the Joseon Portraits. Exh. cat. Korea. cat. 85, p. 125.
  • The Family Model in Chinese Art and Culture. p. 291.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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