|Apricot Trees Sprinkled with Dew|
Qing painting book. A 107-page collection of paintings and calligraphy poems by southern Chinese scholar-officials from period of the Qing dynasty between the rule of the Daoguang Emperor and that of the Xianfeng Emperor, given by these figures to Jiaxing doctor Hu Chuntian for use in this advertising book promoting his medicine “Fei Lu” (lung syrup). The 24 paintings include works by two of the “Three Bears (xiong) of Shanghai” and founders of the Shanghai school of painting, Zhang Xiong and Zhu Xiong, who were not only well-known by their contemporaries, but also continued to have considerable influence on later generations. The works of Zhu Xiong have not been seen to have been collected anywhere else. As for the poetry, there are poems personally penned by 107 famed scholar-officials, including the highly influential calligrapher Dai Xi and many other “number one scholars”, other successful entrants in the imperial exam, and officials of the Grand Council. The paintings and poetry in the book are, like the content of the essays, perhaps unremarkable taken individually. But having collected the works of nearly 127 scholar-officials from Daoguang to Xianfeng, it has considerable value in terms of quantity. Although the book cannot be said to have included the writings of every famed scholar-official in Zhejiang during the period, it has assembled authentic works from the majority of the best-known personages of the time.
Legend by Tseng, Kuan-Shiung
Text and images are provided by TELDAP e-Newsletter (April, 2009)