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Heavenly Officials with Symbols for Success in Examinations, Happiness, and Good Fortune (Diptych)

Accession Number
2015/2.165.1

Title
Heavenly Officials with Symbols for Success in Examinations, Happiness, and Good Fortune (Diptych)

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
19th-20th century

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

Dimensions
21 in x 13 3/4 in (53.34 cm x 34.92 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Sharlynn and Andrew Circo, in memory of Sotokichi Katsuizumi

Subject matter
The larger figure is a 'Heavenly official' wearing elaborate Qing-style court robes. His robe features a white crane in the center, which symbolizes peace and longevity, and also depicts his rank. He is holding a dish and there seems to be a speech bubble coming out of the dish with Chinese characters that depicts "double happiness," which is a symbol for good luck, especially for a marriage. The boy figure is holding a wind chime decoration and there are Chinese characters on in which represent an analogy that means "success with examinations lead to a rise in status". The direct translation of the Chinese characters translates to "thunder on the ground," referring to the vibration caused by scholars. This metaphor of sudden changes is analogous to the sudden rise in reputation or status. 

Physical Description
Left panel of a diptych featuring a figure dressed in an elaborate robe with a crane motif. He is holding a dish in one hand and there is a smaller figure behind him. The smaller figure is holding up a wind chime decoration that features Chinese characters. Both figures are facing right.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
happiness
human figures (visual works)
social status

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display