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China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-13 08:25
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Inspiring landscape

In his most well-known prose Taohuayuan Ji (Peach Blossom Spring), Tao Yuanming, the poet whose life straddled the 4th and 5th centuries, wrote about a place where people live a peaceful, self-sufficient life free from worldly worries. More than 1,000 years later, a painter named Qiu Ying was inspired by Tao's fable to create a mountain-and-water painting titled Immortal Realm of the Peach Spring. Qiu visualized a serene, harmonious land ideal for intellectuals. His painting depicts lush mountains amid clouds, palaces bathed in mist, springs cascading over cliffs to form streams that run below bridges. Under pine trees and peach blossoms sit three men, dressed in white, with two young male attendants, enjoying casual talk and playing guqin (a seven-stringed zither). This landscape, applying a lot of green and blue pigments as a typical style of the Chinese art, is considered a monumental piece in Qiu's oeuvre, with only some still in existence. The painting is now at the center of an exhibition at Tianjin Museum that surveys Qiu's art. He is hailed as one of the "four masters of the Suzhou school", a loose group of painters active in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Self-trained, Qiu was known for his cultural accumulation that rendered his brushwork a mood of subtlety and elegance. The long-term exhibition also shows the works of his teacher, Zhou Chen, and two copied works of Qiu.

9 am-4:30 pm, closed on Mondays.62 Pingjiang Road, Hexi district, Tianjin. 022-8388-3000.

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