Ye Shuangshi

Ye Shuangshi, 'Silver Pheasants under Spring Blossoms', ca. 1500. Gezamenlijke aankoop met de Vereniging van Vrienden der Aziatische Kunst, mede mogelijk gemaakt door een bijdrage uit het legaat B.J. Peiser.

AMSTERDAM.- The Rijksmuseum and the Asian Arts Society in the Netherlands (VVAK) have joined forces to acquire a rare 15th-century painting by the Chinese artist Ye Shuangshi. Silver Pheasants under Spring Blossoms represents the very pinnacle of Chinese painting, and its acquisition is the highlight of this year’s centenary celebrations for the VVAK, whose collection is housed in the Rijksmuseum. 

To mark the 100th anniversary of the VVAK’s foundation, an exhibition will be held in the Rijksmuseum’s Asian Pavilion featuring the most outstanding objects in its collection. 

On 23 June the VVAK will hold a symposium on the art of collecting. Register for the symposium at 

Silver Pheasants under Spring Blossoms 
Silver Pheasants under Spring Blossoms is an extremely rare 15th century painting by the Chinese artist Ye Shuangshi. The pair of silver pheasants, the other birds and the abundantly blossoming spring plants are all symbols of happiness and good fortune. This type of colourful flower-and-bird painting, featuring symbols of good luck painted in meticulously accurate, naturalistic style, was very popular at the Chinese imperial court. Ye Shuangshi was the nephew of the famous artist Lü Ji (c.1439-before 1505). It is likely that he, like his uncle, was a painter at the imperial court. Several works by Lü Ji have survived to this day, but there are only two known paintings by Ye Shuangshi, so the acquisition of one of them by the Rijksmuseum and the VVAK is an exceptional event. 

Exhibition in the Asian Pavilion 
To mark the centenary, the Asian Pavilion is hosting an exhibition of the best works in the VVAK collection. It will feature a specially constructed kabinet gallery for the collection of Indian miniature masterpieces, and a display of the finest Asian bronzes, centring around the exceptional Indonesian collection. 

The VVAK was founded in 1918, and its collection has been on loan to the Rijksmuseum since 1952. It forms the core of the display in the Rijksmuseum’s Asian Pavilion, and the two close collaborators share responsibility for the care of the collection. The Rijksmuseum is proud that the centenary can be celebrated with the first co-acquisition, this Chinese masterpiece.