The Qianlong Emperor advocated that jade mountains and carved panels should carry the spirit of paintings by famous past masters. It is recorded that a number of classical paintings from the emperor's own collection were ordered to be reproduced in jade, such as the celebrated painting Travellers in the Mountains, by the eminent Five Dynasties painter Guan Tong (907-960). The complexity of the carving and the harmony of the composition in the present screen exemplify the mastery and aesthetic demanded of lapidary artisans in the Qianlong era.
A smaller but similarly carved white jade circular table screen of the same period depicting pavilions and temples set against the mountainous landscape of Hangzhou's West Lake sold at Christie's New York, 28th November 2006, lot 1369. Another slightly larger white jade table screen sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8th October 2013, lot 3042. A third, with two figures by a mountain pavilion, is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 02.18.652).
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