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Between and Mortarboard

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Peach Blossom Spring

Accession Number

Peach Blossom Spring

Chen Shaomei (aka Ch'en Shao-mei)

Object Creation Date
circa 1930-1954

Medium & Support
ink and light color on paper

9 1/16 in x 265 3/4 in (23.1 cm x 675 cm);8 11/16 in x 27 15/16 in (22 cm x 71 cm);8 3/4 in x 34 1/16 in (22.2 cm x 86.5 cm);8 11/16 in x 33 7/8 in (22 cm x 86 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Ellen and Richard Laing

Subject matter
This panoramic view of a pastoral landscape is based on a famous story of Peach Blossom Spring written by one of the greatest poets in China, Tao Yuanming (372-427). After traveling along a stream, a fisherman came to a breathtaking peach grove, where the air was filled with the aroma of peach blossoms, and pink petals fluttered through the air. The fisherman found a cave, and after passing through its narrow walls discovered a vibrant, flourishing village. Surprised to have a visitor, the residents asked where he had come from, and explained that their ancestors had fled and settled there during the harsh Ch’in dynasty (225-209 BCE). After a few days he returned home, and promised the villagers never to share where he had been. Cunningly, the fisherman marked his return path and told his magistrate of the fertile land, yet no one was able to find the idyllic village again.

Physical Description
In this long narrative landscape, our eyes trace the journey of the fisherman, who may be standing in the distance on the left. His boat can be seen tucked behing a rock, and the mouth of a small cave. Pink petals of peach blossoms adorn the trees along to shore of a stream.

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