Mynahs on pine tree. Ink and light polychromy on paper, mounted in a vertical roll. Signed Sun Mingshan, with two artist's seals and three collectors' seals. Origin: China. Period: 19th century. Dimensions: 130 cm x 60.8 cm.
Both the myna and the magpie were lucky birds in ancient China. Their ability to mimic the human voice made them highly sought after aviary birds among the mandarin and courteous elite. Here they are associated with a knotty pine, a motif traditionally carrying a wish for longevity. This painting was therefore composed as a gift for a birthday.
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