Sunday, 15 January 2012

Qingming Shang He Tu

Qingming Shang He Tu - Scenes along the River during the Qingming Festival (清明上河图,英文版) 
Zhang Zeduan 张择端 
ISBN: 978-1-60220-003-6 
Better Link Press, Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company (上海新闻出版发展公司) 
Date of Publication: 2008.07 

This painting is the best genre painting in the history of Chinese painting. Scenes along the River during the Qingming Festival depicts the hustle and bustle of town life in what is today’s Kaifeng, then known as Bianjing, the capital of Northern Song Dynasty. This twelfth century painting brings to life the town and the natural scenery along the banks of the Bian River on the day of the Qingming Festival. It is a masterpiece of realism, recording the pulses of a thriving historical town and showing extraordinary details of the bridge, the carriage, the costumes, and the activities of various walks of life. Because of its detailed, vivid, and all-inclusive description, the painting has served as an extremely important source of visual material for the study of Chinese urban life in the twelfth century. It was painted by Zhang Zeduan, nicknamed Zhengdao, a native of Dongwu in what is today’s Zhucheng, Shandong Province. He was a court painter during the reign of Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty. The original paintings are presently preserved in The Palace Museum in Beijing.

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