One of the favorite images of the rural idyll depicted by Chinese painters such as Li Tang (1050-after 1130) shows a small boy either riding or leading a water buffalo. A painting by Li Tang, Herd Boy with Water Buffalo and Calf, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei is illustrated by A. B. Wicks (ed.) in Children in Chinese Art, Honolulu, 2002, p. 54, fig. 2.6. This became a theme seen in small jade carvings of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Two such carvings, where the boy either lies on or is beside the recumbent water buffalo which has a rope through its nostrils, like the present carving, are illustrated by James C.Y. Watt, Chinese Jade from Han to Ch'ing, The Asia Society, New York, 1980, p. 66, nos. 47 and 48.