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Village's Celebration on First Day of First Lunar Month

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Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
Medium:  ink and color on paper
Format: hanging scroll

Date: 1618
Artist(s): Li Shida (act. mid 16th c. to early 17th c.)

Dimensions: 132.9 × 64 cm

Li Shida, was also called by his style name "Yanghuai". A native of Wu county (today's Suzhou, Jiangsu province), he was best known for his landscape and figure painting. He often expressed his dissatisfaction toward reality in his paintings, while some of his works show his longing for a free and reclusive life. Occasionally he painted Buddhism and Daoism myth-themed works and a number of genre paintings.   
  This work features a self-inscription, "On the last month of the wuwu year [1618], on Shihu, by Li Shida". Below are three intaglio seals reading "Li Shida", "Tongfu" and "A reclusive fisherman of Shihu Lake". The work also features a poem inscribed by the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795) of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), and collection seals of the Qianlong, Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820) and Xuantong (1909-1911) emperors.   
  The scroll depicted a village's celebration of the arrival of spring, in which countryside scenes were incorporated into normal pattern of landscape painting. Farmhouses and courtyard willows, domestic animals and villagers, they were all vividly portrayed in front of a beautiful background of ink and wash landscape, creating a harmonious, festive atmosphere.

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