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Picture of one hundred sons ('Baizi tu')

early 20th century




No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Taohuawu Suzhou Jiangsu Province China
    early 20th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    woodblock print; colour on paper
    108.2 x 59.4 cm
    Gift of Zhaoxian Ding 2006
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Taohuawu, a scenic spot in Suzhou, became the centre for the production of New Year prints in southern China during the late nineteenth century. Its production rivalled that of Yangliuqing (in Tianjing) in the north.

    At the top of this print, the three large characters read 'baizi tu' or 'Picture of one hundred sons'. The print is a jumble of small figures in groups interspersed among architectural elements, and at times it can be difficult to discern the various parts. The upper figures show the complementary themes of the picture: success in civil service examination, especially by the two banners labelled "top graduate" ('zhuangyuan jidi'), and "winning the first place in the three successive civil service examinations" ('lianzhong sanyuan'). In the centre of the lower section, a dragon dance celebrates their happiness and a cartouche at upper left reads "Hope for a bumper harvest" ('wugu fengdeng'). To the right of this is a cartouche on which is inscribed "Celebrating the First Lunar Month Festival" ('qinghe yuanxiao'). The vignettes placed at the corners depict children pursing various games and amusements - playing chess, gambling, flying a kite, etc. The scalloped floral border is composed of the characters for "happiness" ('fu') and "longevity" ('shou') written in seal script.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2006.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Provenance

    DING Zhaoxian, 1946-2006, Jiangsu Province/China, donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Nov 2006.

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