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Chinese Painting: The Three Friends of Winter and Other Auspicious Motifs

"Chinese Painting: The Three Friends of Winter and Other Auspicious Motifs"

Toyokan Room 8  January 2, 2019 (Wed) - February 11, 2019 (Mon)

  
Plum Blossoms and Narcissuses (detail), By Lu Tianru, Ming dynasty, dated 1441

Pines and bamboos, which keep their green color even during the winter, and plums, which herald the coming of spring with their white blossoms, were regarded as noble plants and suitable company for men of principle. Together they are known as the “Three Friends of Winter.” Chinese literati painters rendered these plants with ink and brush, emphasizing the beauty of this medium. Pines were also associated with eternal youth and longevity, bamboos represented tranquility, and plums symbolized the prosperity of one’s descendants. These plants were often combined with other auspicious motifs in colorful paintings, which we invite you to view in this exhibition of auspicious images.

Current exhibit includes:
Plum Blossoms and Narcissuses, By Lu Tianru, Ming dynasty, dated 1441
Plum Blossoms,
By Liu Shiru, Ming dynasty, 16th century
Five Pine Trees,
By Li Shan, Qing dynasty, 18th century
The Three Friends of Winter,
By Wu Changshuo, Republic period, dated 1913 (Private collection)