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This painting is one of a set of four pictures, all depicting Chinese interiors, that came to the Museum as part of the founding collection given to the University of Oxford by General Pitt-Rivers in 1884. Pitt-Rivers purchased the painting some time before 1874, probably from a dealer. The artist, date and further provenance are unknown. In this painting the artist has included a variety of potted plants. One of them, the miniature tree in the rectangular tray, shows the Chinese art of penjing or ‘tray scenery’. Such trays often featured not only trees, but also a rocky landscape – here a small rock can be seen rising next to the tree.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
oil on canvas
H 61 x W 75.5 cm
gift, before 1884