"Ming Huang and Yang Gueifei Listening to Music" (detail, ink and light color on silk; early Ming (Chinese) Dynasty), in the show "Dangerous Liaisons,'' at the Worcester Art Museum through April 22.
The show's curator writes:
"The exhibition is centered around the museum's Ming period handscroll painting titled "Ming Huang and Yang Guifei Listening to Music." The Tang Dynasty emperor, Ming Huang, ruled from 712-756 and his fateful love affair with and marriage to the young consort, Yang Guifie, became an enduring tale of love and tragedy.''
Through the centuries this tale has captivated poets as well as other writers and visual artists in both China and Japan. "Dangerous Liaisons Revisited" examines the story's appeal through works from the 7th to the 21st Century; each offering a different interpretation of the event and exploring the Tang Dynasty itself, ''an era marked by imperial decadence and sensuality. ''