A warrior’s phoenixes

David LeffmanUncategorized Leave a Comment

Here’s a stone rubbing of a pair of phoenixes amongst peonies, overshadowed by a wutong tree. Peonies are considered the “king of flowers” in China, often paired in art with the phoenix, which usually represents female power. But here, as both male and female phoenix are shown, the peonies simply emphasise the regal nature of the birds. The tree links …

Continuous Alcoholic Merriment

David LeffmanUncategorized Leave a Comment

This rubbing, measuring 36cm x 46cm, is taken from an Eastern Han (25–220 AD) tomb brick, unearthed in the early twentieth century from Xinjin county in Sichuan province. Used for mausoleum walls, these bricks were moulded in relief with scenes from the lives of an intelligent, fun-loving, articulate people: farmers gathering crops, salt miners at work, the upper classes hunting, …