A large Chinese wall hanging, mid 19th century
the wall hanging with a symmetrical design, the composition depicting the theme of the celebration of the 70th birthday of Guo Ziyi and his wife, the centre embroidery with a terrace setting and a large hanging banner with the 'Shou' character, the Guo couple with attendants sitting on both sides and receiving worship by their descendants, the further two sides both with groups of people, the entrance of the terrace on the right with Guo's sixth son Guo Ai with his wife, the Princess Shengping, the back of the terrace on the left with Guo's attendants and a banner reading as 'The family of the Prince of Fenyang (Shanxi province)', showing the location and main figures of the celebration, a dragon in the upper centre accompanied two phoenix holding in its mouth an imperial board reading as 'The imperial notice from the Emperor and Empress', all above a band of decoration of groups of scholars in a bamboo grove background, the bottom with nine buddhistic lions chasing balls, with decoration of scrolling clouds, stylised flowers, cranes and mandarins interweaved
Guo Ziyi (697-781), the famous general who served four emperors in Tang dynasty. He was awarded the title 'The Prince of Fengyang' after his surpression of Ai Shi Rebellion and the expeditions against Huihe and Tubo. His successful military career brought him the honor and fame throughout his life, therefore after Guo's death at 85, people immortalised him as a legend and believed that Guo would be blessed with longevity, richness, happiness and honors. Since then, the image of 'Celebrating the Birthday of Guo's Couple' became popular in varied forms and medium in Chinese art.
A similar wall hanging piece can be seen in the collection of Baltimore Museum of Art of The Johns Hopkins University, and the piece has been displayed in the Museum exhibition 'In Praise of the Pince of Fenyang: Decoding a Chinese Embroidery' from June 28 2006 to February 4 2007.