Traditionally, the home of a prosperous Chinese family was divided into public areas and private living quarters for men and for women. Apart from the reception halls, the gentleman’s study was the most important room in the house. There the head of the household would withdraw to practice the scholarly arts: calligraphy, reading, and playing or listening to music. It was in his study that he would meet with friends to discuss paintings and antiquities.
This room with Chinese furnishings of the 17th and 18th centuries offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of an educated man of the period.