Classic Chinese Paintings
Beauties Wearing Flowers in Hair

Page by Sier, from China 

     <1> T89 Chinese Paintings: Beauties Wearing Flowers in Hair, set of 3 stamps, details
     <2> T89M  Chinese Paintings: Beauties Wearing Flowers in Hair, Miniature Sheet, the whole painting

A: About the stamps of this set:

<1> T89
 Date of Issue:  March 24,1984
 Perforation:  11
 Printing Process:  Photogravure
 Size of Design:  54*40
 Sheet Composition:  28 (4*7)
 Painter: Zhou Fang (Tang Dynasty)
 Designer:  Shao Bailin
 Printer:  Beijing Stamp Factory
 (1) 8 fen,  Part 1 of the Scroll
 (2) 10 fen,  Part 2 of the Scroll
 (3) 70 fen,  Part 3 of the Scroll

<2> T89M [Miniature Sheet]
 Date of Issue:  March 24,1984
 Perforation:  11
 Printing Process:  Photogravure
 Size of Design:  162*40
 Painter: Zhou Fang (Tang Dynasty) 
 Size of Miniature Sheet:  176*66
 Designer:  Shao Bailin
 Printer:  Beijing Stamp Factory
 (1) 2 Yuan,  Beauties Wearing  Flowers in Hear

B: Background:
  "The Ladies Wearing Flowers in Hair" is a well-known ancient Chinese painting, significant in the history of art. It depicts the comfortable, gorgeous, happy life of noble women in the Tang Dynasty. The painter is Zhou Fang of Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), famous for feature painting during the then times. Zhou was born in a noble family in Chang'an, Shaanxi Province, in the last year of the Kaiyuan, and died in the year of Zhenyuan. Zhou was specialized in painting ladies, portraits and temple murals. This painting is set on a scroll, 180 cm long and 46 cm wide. It is now preserved in Liaoning museum, located in Northeast China.

C: Design:
   <1> T89 Chinese Paintings: Beauties Wearing Flowers  There are three stamps in a set. Stamp 3-1 depicts two noble ladies playing with a pet dog. One tricks it with a long, thick rope; the other is a spectator with her fingers pointing at the lovely dog, which was a precious pet only imperial family and aristocrats could afford to buy one from Samaria in western Asia. It was a pet dog that accompanied noble women to spend their leisure time, playing and laughing.


  Stamp 3-2 depicts a noble woman watching the flower she holds in her right hand and a gold hairpin in her left hand, as if thinking how  to set them in her hair. On the left is a crane fluttering its wings. On the right is shown a maiden holding a fan, and bending her head.  



  On the stamp 3-3 there are shown two noble women. One catches a butterfly from the flowers nearby and turns slightly back to look at the dog running and snarling behind her and the slowly walking crane. Another noble young lady is straightening her sleeves and walks gracefully.

  This set of stamps mainly adapts the three parts of the painting, preserving its major features. The painting is a rich colorful painting in traditional Chinese realistic skills characterized by the fine brushwork and close attention to detail. The lines are the major means for modeling in Chinese paintings. The lines drawn on this painting are fine and colorful, simple and expressive. The faces and hands of those noble women are drawn precisely, refined and round and tender, a little exaggerative but animated, for example, the delicate fingers of the butterfly - catcher, the manner of the flower-holder, the nimble hand of the rope-whipper. The silk clothes on those noble women appear flowing and fluttering, showing their feel of good quality. They look translucent and the women's skin and flesh appear almost visible through those thin fabric.  The figures of those noble women look gracefully plump, which shows the aesthetic view people held in the Tang Dynasty.
  Figures on the painting are depicted differently, for example the mischievous and merry woman who plays with the pet dog, the concentrated lady who examines the flower and hairpin, the sublime woman who is taking a walk, the casual lady who holds a butterfly, all are depicted animated. In composition, various objects are arranged to render a sense of variation and rhythm, for example, the ones in distance and the ones in near, the large ones and the small ones, the ones in rest, and the ones in motion. In coloring, the colors are bright and intensive, simple and natural. The women's skin is painted with white powder to look like as tender as now, as beautiful as flowers. Their clothes are painted with complicated colors, in order to look as gorgeous as golden foils decorated with bouquets of flowers.

<2> T89M  Chinese Paintings: Beauties Wearing Flowers in Hair [Miniature Sheet]
   The sheet shows the overall view of the painting "Ladies Wearing Flowers in Hair", on which six women appear; five of them are noble women, one is a maiden. One woman is looking at flowers, another is catching butterfly, a third is taking a walk, and the fourth is playing with a pet dog--all depicts the leisure life of nobles in palaces.

  • Credits: The text and the scans were provided by Sier. The content was checked by Sier and by his wife. (Thanks a lot to both of them!). This page was designed by the author of this site.
  • Link: Ancient Chinese Art on this site.
Published: 1/26/01. Revised: 01/27/01. Copyright 2001 by Victor Manta, Switzerland and Sier, China. All rights reserved worldwide.

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