The use of the layer of gray stone on the present plaque to form the 'background' of the landscape is a further imaginative way of accentuating detail and is characteristic of lapidary work of this period. A Song dynasty plaque in the Qing Court collection carved with two mythical beasts utilizes the grayish-black inclusions within the stone in a similar manner, but instead of using it to create a vertical backdrop, it has incorporated it as a horizontal plane to form the ground on which the animals lie, op. cit., pl. 56.
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