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Man and Horse

After Mêng-fu Chao (aka Zhao Mengfu) (1254–1322)

Chinese, Late Ming or Qing Dynasties
ca. 1600 - 1650
40.6 x 55.9 cm (16 x 22 in.)
ink and watercolor on silk

Not on view


China’s Mongol rulers introduced the horse, which quickly became highly valued by Chinese emperors and noble warriors. When these rulers stopped employing Chinese scholar-officials at court, artists like Zhao, who served under Kublai Khan, took up the image of the horse and groom to plead for the proper use of scholarly talent. Their intent was to illustrate a famous Tang Dynasty saying: “There are always excellent steeds, but not always a groom, the excellent judge of horses.”

J. Carder

Exhibition History
"Seldom Seen," Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., April 21, 2014.

House Collection