First-Class Cultural Heritage Life along the Bian River at the Qingming Festival (detail) By Zhang Zeduan, Northern Song dynasty, 12th century, Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, China [On display from Monday, January 2 to Tuesday, January 24, 2012]
Among the Song- and Yuan-dynasty calligraphic works and paintings admired by all fans of Chinese art, Life along the Bian River at the Qingming Festival (Northern Song dynasty, 12th century) is an especially renowned masterpiece. This hand scroll, painted by Zhang Zeduan and measuring over 5 meters long, vividly depicts in detail festivities in the Northern Song-dynasty capital, Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng). The fame of this work as one of the highest points of Chinese art has spread far and wide. However, it is rarely exhibited, even at the Palace Museum in Beijing, and it has only been shown outside of the museum at the Shanghai Museum, the Liaoning Provincial Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. At all these places it was displayed for a limited period of time and was so popular that the exhibition venues, to which art fans flocked from around the world, recorded waiting times of several hours. For the first time, China’s “national treasure of national treasures” is crossing the sea to go on display in Tokyo.
For more information, click on the site of the Tokyo National Museum