• davide cernuschi photography
  • Musée Cernuschi7 avenue Vélasquez75008 Paris
  • Musée Cernuschi : Arts Asiatiques.
  • Collections du musée Cernuschi :

six siècles de peintures chinoises au musée Cernushi

Too low to display

Le Tigresse is from the late Shang Dynasty period, about 1250 BCE. It is from Hunan Province and measures about 2 feet high. The vessel was intended to hold fermented beverages and is unquestionably the most famous and splendid object in the Cernuschi Museum. The vessel depicts a feline, a tigress with an open mouth, holding a small human in a close embrace with its front paws. For years, I had thought of the small human figure as a child. But on closer inspection, it appears that it may well be an adult. Is it a Diminutive Africoid? Whether adult or child, the features are clearly Africoid and may well be a depiction of one of the Diminutive Africoid-types associated with early China, protected in the powerful embrace of a tigress.

Le Tigresse is by far the most spectacular of such vessels. It is a Yu vessel. In addition to Le Tigresse, in the Cernuschi Museum in Paris, there is a similar and near identical artifact in the Sumitomo Collection in Kyoto, Japan.


Hector Malot, Giulia Baiocchi, Claudio Cernuschi, Maria De Filippo

M. Cernuschi, c’est un monsieur qui est parti en Chine et au Japon. Il a acheté pleins de statues, et il est revenue en France. Il voulait que les gens voient toutes ces statues. Il a construit une grande maison parce qu’il en avait 4.000. Il voulait que sa maison devienne un musée.