Chinese craftsman's dedication to snuff bottle painting

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-03-15 11:43
Chinese craftsman Wang Xinnian paints inside snuff bottles at his studio in North China's Tianjin on March 8, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

In the late 17th century, European merchants and envoys introduced the aromatic tobacco mixture to China known as snuff. Before entering China, snuff was typically stored in boxes. Chinese craftsmen created airtight bottles to protect against the local climate, where snuff was prone to dry out.

Though the use of snuff bottles has gradually disappeared since the early 20th century when cigarettes became available, the small tobacco containers, with exquisite paintings inside, can still be found all over China now, becoming an object of artistic fascination.

Tianjin-born artist Wang Xinnian, 52, has dedicated more than three decades to the age-old art of painting inside snuff bottles since teenage. He learned painting from his father. Wang is particularly skilled in traditional Chinese painting, portraying subjects including natural landscapes, birds, flowers and human figures.

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