Crane in a Garden
MediumInk, color on silk
DimensionsImage : 6 ft. 2 in. x 37 1/4 in. (1.9 m x 94.62 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
LabelBecause traditional Chinese mythology said that cranes could live for hundreds of years, the birds were often used as symbols of long life in Chinese art and popular culture. Because bamboo is strong but pliant, it became a symbol of resilience and moral integrity, while rocks were frequently used as symbols of toughness and endurance. The combination of imagery in this painting of a crane dancing beside a contorted garden rock beneath a copse of golden bamboo thus conveys a wish for longevity and inner strength that would have made it appropriate for display during Lunar New Year festivities or on a person’s birthday or anniversary.