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Cabbages and Butterflies
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Cabbages and Butterflies

Description Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In China, the butterfly can be a symbol of happiness in marriage. This comes from a story told by the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi [Chuang-tzu] in which a young student chases a butterfly into the garden of a retired official. There, he sees the official's daughter and is so taken with her beauty and charm that he vows to dedicate himself to his work so that he may one day marry her. His hard work not only wins him his bride but also results in his obtaining a high-ranking position.
Provenance Panama-Pacific International Exposition, China Pavilion, San Francisco, 1915 [no. 163]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1915, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] Bottom right; [Seal] Bottom right
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1915

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15th-16th century
ink and color on silk
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 35 1/8 x W: 21 15/16 in. (89.2 x 55.8 cm)
  • China (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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