Mirror with Ox and Moon

Place of production
Era century
Diameter 19.1 cm Rim height 0.2 cm
Kyoto National Museum
This mirror depicts scenes from an ancient Chinese legend from the Wu dynasty (222-280). The gasping ox is looking at the moon, but mistakes it for the sun. The kingdom of Wu situated in the southern part of China, had a very hot climate. Out of admiration for the culture of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), artists liked to use motifs from ancient legends such as this one during the Jin dynasty (1115-1234), when the Juchens ruled. The same trend can also be seen in artifacts from the Yuan dynasty (1277-1368), when the Mongols ruled.

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