Qing dynasty (1644-1911) Daoguang period (1820-1850)
120 x 120 cm
- Imperial Workshops of Peking
- Asymmetrical Knot
-Silk pile, gilded copper threads
Lions (Rui Shi, auspicious lions, or simply Shi) always comes in a pairs (or in five or eight), and stand to the left and right of entrances. Usually, one is male and the other female. Which gender can be seen by that the female have a puppy under a lifted paw and that the male have a brocade ball.
Lions was introduced from Indian culture especially through Buddhist symbolism as the protector of dharma and have been found in religious art as early as c.200 BC. Though lions were not indigenous to China, for the bravery and wisdom it represent, to the dignity of an emperor, from then on statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy.There are various styles of imperial guardian lions reflecting influences from different time periods, imperial dynasties, and regions of China. These styles vary in their artistic detail and adornment as well as in the depiction of the lions from fierce to serene. Lion entered into Chinese art, architecture, fengshui, folk customs and dance, a result of Sino-Western cultural exchange and cultural creativity.