Cranes and Flowers
by Lang Shih-ning
Reprint of silk painting scroll
21 x 15 inches
National Palace Museum in Taipei
Heavy stock paper
Condition:very good, excellent, small 1 cm crease at bottom
Pair of Cranes in the Shadow of Flowers
This is a 21 by 15 inch heavy stock superior paper poster reprint of hanging scroll of ink and color on silk. Purchased in 1983 from the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The poster has never been mounted and remains rolled in original paper from time of purchase. The poster was unrolled and placed under glass for photographs. Information of the painting and artist is written on back in Chinese and English. More photos available.
Description of painting:
On a gentle slope where rose bushes bloom are two pairs of red-crested cranes, one adult and the other chicks. An adult stands on one leg and careens its neck to preen its feathers while the other looks back and down at the two chicks who have yet to molt, as if responding to and taking care of them. The rendering of the cranes" feathers is very realistic and true to life, not just in the details but also the glossy luster. This treatment of sheen further characterizes the plants shown here, too, with the rose and iris blossoms rendered with equal attention to detail. The theme of crane chicks was not previously common in Chinese painting, but the Ch'ien-lung Emperor once wrote a verse on the subject: "Not until crane chicks come out of their shells, can they thus reach to the skies." Perhaps the upright position of the chicks in this painting was meant to echo the emperor's sentiments.
About the Artist: Lang Shih-Ning
Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Lang Shih-ning by Chinese name, was a native of Milan, Italy. He became a Jesuit missionary at the age of twenty-seven and went to China, where he served as a court painter under three Ching emperors, namely Kang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Chien-lung. This painting depicts a pair of Manchurian cranes and their chicks reposing in a corner of the palace garden. The Chien-lung Emperor so prized this work, that he wrote a poem about it, which became a well-known artwork in its own right.
Two poster reprints of scrolls were purchased at same time and have been in rolled in original paper since 1983. Will be shipped rolled in mailing tube.
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