Tribute Bearers

Tribute Bearers

1500s
Country
China
painting
Gift of Dr. Robert Rinden
1971.40

Attributed to Qiu Ying, (1502-1552), Tribute Bearers (detail), 1500s. 
Ming dynasty (1368-1644), China.
Ink and color on silk; 12 3/4 x 268 in.
Denver Art Museum: Gift of Dr. Robert Rinden, 1971.40

Dimensions
height: 13 1/4 in, 33.6550 cm; width: 268 in, 680.72 cm
Inscription
Tribute Bearers Long Scroll by Chiu Shih-chou (Chiu Ying 1505-66), Collected by Wu-Shih- Shan study, 8th month, 1584. Colophon: This painting was copied by Chiu Ying after Chao Pei-chu of Tang dyn. It was excellently done and shown to me by Hsu Ta-cheng. Signed Tung Ch'i-ch'ang.
Department
Asian
Collection
Asian

Attributed to Qiu Ying (Chinese, 1502–1552)
Tribute Bearers
1500s, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Ink and color on silk
Gift of Dr. Robert Rinden
1971.40

In this scroll, a Ming dynasty artist (probably Qiu Ying) painted ten foreign delegations traveling to pay tribute to the Chinese imperial court. The envoys are identified by banners representing their home states as well as by their different clothing styles. In addition to its function as a statement of China’s power and centrality, this ambitiously scaled painting also indulges a viewer’s nostalgia for faraway kingdoms represented by figures dressed in colorful costumes and bearing fanciful gifts associated with their homelands. Qiu Ying was painting a world of international relationships as it existed in the Tang dynasty—connections no long extant during his time. Although he might have been inspired by similar depictions made before his, he inserted many features from his own imagination. Foreigners are shown with an overemphasis on their exotic features. The different envoys are separated by landscape elements painted in a conventional blue-green style that enhances the vibrant colors in the figures.