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Chen Zhaofeng 陳兆鳳
(late 18th-19th century)

“Crane and Pine”

Two-panel screen (originally four hanging scrolls)
Ink and color on silk
151.0 x 140.6 cm. (59 1/2 x 55 3/8 in.)

“Respectfully painted by your servitor, Chen Zhaofeng.”

Artist’s seals:
Chen Chen Zhaofeng; Gong hua

Claudia Brown and Ju-hsi Chou: Transcending Turmoil, Phoenix, 1992, cat. 6, pp. 33-34

A large crane balances on one foot, his head turned back to create an intriguing series of angles. To the right appear a tall garden rock, flowers, and an overhanging pine tree. All of these have potent auspicious connotations, with the crane, pine, and rock being very well-known symbols for longevity. The drawing of these forms is accurate and meticulous, identifying the artist as one well-trained in his craft.

The same can be said about Chen Zhaofeng’s other surviving painting, a hanging scroll in the Palace Museum collection in Taipei (fig. 1). Both of these paintings are signed the same, indicating his status as a court artist, probably active around the middle of the 19th century.

Fig. 1. Chen Zhaofeng: “Flowers in a Porcelain Vase with Bowl of Goldfish,” after Gugong shuhua tulu, Taipei, 1994, vol. 14, p. 245.

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