Large and small butterflies flit about an area in which are placed garden rocks pierced by holes. Flowering plants around the rocks help to define the ground plane and contribute their charm to the scene. The butterfly carries connotations ranging from longevity to sexual bliss, and the creature itself is of course most lovely to behold. The theme was quite popular during the later Qing dynasty and appears on both ceramics and signed (fig. 1) and unsigned paintings like the present, very attractive example.
Fig. 1. Li Guolong: “Butterflies,” after Kaikodo Journal XXVIII, 2012, cat. 23, p. 83.