A man clad in scholar’s garb stands in a courtyard in front of a house framed by pines to the right and left. One hand is raised as if admonishing the two servant boys before him who are engaged in feeding a pair of cranes. The composition is designed so as to provide a backdrop for the main scene, which is organized to place primary emphasis on the interactions of figures and birds, creating a simple but highly effective work of art.
Chu Hsin, tzu Ch’un-yen, was from Ch’ien-t’ang, the modern city of Hangchou. Coming from a poor family, Chu gave up hopes of an official career and became a professional artist. He excelled in painting figures, flowers, and birds. His period of activity is not recorded but, since he worked after Hua Yen (1682-1756), he most likely was active during the second half of the 18th century.