A great variety of birds, including the peacock and peahen, are portrayed in a natural setting. The grandiose scale of this work suggests its was originally used as interior decoration. It’s possibly part of a set depicting flowers and birds of the four seasons; this is the spring scene. When used in the imperial context, works of similar type may constitute part of a large composition with the theme of “one hundred birds admiring the phoenix,” which provided a metaphor for human society and an idealization of hierarchical order under the imperial rule. The artist Yin Hong was a court painter and the third generation of a painters’ family that served in the Ming imperial court.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.