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A Lion Rolls the Embroidered Ball Kite

A Lion Rolls the Embroidered Ball

In 1967 Ma Jiashu 马家树 painted this swallow kite. It is on paper and is 38 centimeters square. Lions are a traditional symbol of power but in the Ming Dynasty (明朝 1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the depiction of the lion took on more playful characteristics. Rather than just sitting as a guard or appearing ferocious, the lion was shown playing, often with a ball, sleeping, yawning, and even scratching itself. The elaborate curling mane and flowing fur began to appear in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279).

Last update: June 2008
© Marilyn Shea, 2008