Virtually explore the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. with Smarthistory as your guide
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The composition of the painting seems to have borrowed depictions of the Three Laughers of Tiger Creek, a popular allegorical story about the meeting of three famous figures.
The smoke from incense was used as a link between the earthly realm and the heavenly world.
Artists during the Ming dynasty often honored their patrons by portraying them in a garden studio, thus commenting on the owner’s character and aesthetic taste.
The artwork is based on a well-known Chinese folktale about a group of monkeys attempting to capture the moon.
This Chinese calligraphy piece is written on a folding fan.
Painted in lavish mineral-based colors of blue, green, and brownish yellow, this painting is a typical “blue-and-green” landscape in Chinese art
A scholar playing a zither while enjoying some beautiful scenery is a popular genre in Chinese landscape paintings.
This handscroll vividly portrays eleven dancing dragons.
This painting depicts the most important festival in China—the Lunar New Year.
This canteen exemplifies the dynamic flow of ideas and objects between the Islamic world and China that invigorated both artistic traditions.
Ancestor portraits are typically commissioned by the family members of the deceased ancestors
This is an iconic photo of Cixi, the Empress Dowager of Qing China, in the early 1900s