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Ming Dynasty painting depicts constellation deities with zodiac signs

Updated: Feb 14, 2023 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print
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The Shanxi Museum is home to a Ming Dynasty painting scroll, which depicts six Chinese constellation gods associated with six zodiac animals – the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon and snake. [Photo/provided to chinaservicesinfo.com]

Zodiac animals have been popular in China since the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). This Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) painting depicts six of the 12 Chinese constellation gods – all men – in long robes with wide sleeves. They are personifications of six zodiac animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon and snake, which are also depicted in the painting.

This painting is on silk and mounted on yellow fabric. It is a treasure from the permanent collection of the Shanxi Museum.

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