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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  phoenix-and-dragon-relief

 

China

A relief of the phoenix and the dragon on a window frame in  the Forbidden City in Beijing (fig.). Depicted together these mythical animals are a symbol of the Emperor. In this case, the fenghuang, which normally has both male and female connotations, becomes entirely feminine as the Empress, and together they represent both aspects of imperial power.