Tray with women and boys on a garden terrace, Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), 14th century. Carved red lacquer. H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm); Diam. 21 7/8 in. (55.6 cm). Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015; 2015.500.1.31© 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Scenes of harmonious families featuring women and frolicking children began to appear in Chinese decorative art in the fourteenth century. This tray depicts two women and twenty-three boys on a terrace and pavilion overlooking a lotus pond. One woman, clearly the hostess, rests on an openwork seat; the other, probably a nanny, holds one child while another clutches her skirt. Several other youth take part in a procession that resembles that of court officials—a common sight in major Chinese cities in the fourteenth century.