Silk and metallic thread embroidery on wool tabby
132 1/4 x 79 3/4 in. (335.9 x 202.6 cm)
Gift of Fong Chow, 1959 (59.190)
Larger-than-life heroes from Chinese theater dominate this bold embroidered hanging. The three warriors, two men and a woman, wear elaborate armor and bear swords and lances. The fierce, bearded Zhang Fei and the distinctively red-faced Guan Yu are two of three pivotal characters who swear an oath of brotherhood in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo zhi yanyi), a fourteenth-century novel that inspired many plays. The female figure has not been identified. All three wear headdresses with long pheasant plumes, which, when adopted during the Qing dynasty, symbolized warriors from China's northern frontiers.