Various fruits and vegetables of the seasons, including luscious watermelon and sweet peaches of summer, are arranged in a series of twelve still-life vignettes designed to provide a variety of compositions while yet showcasing each subject. The paintings were obviously created by a skilled watercolorist, the colors far more important in conveying the character of the individual types of fruits and vegetables than was ink, which was used quite sparingly.
Tang Luming was born in Wujin, the modern Changzhou in Jiangsu province, the fourth son of the famous painter Tang Yifen (1778-1853). There is no record of Luming passing even the local examinations but he did receive appointment as Supervisor of Transport for the Lianghuai district, located in Yangzhou. This appointment was a pivotal one in his progress as a painter since he found himself in the homeland of the renowned Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, whose creative ingenuity and flair would inform the artistic energy and identity of the city from the end of the 17th century onward. Tang, who excelled in baimiao, monochrome figure painting, would follow the lead of the eccentric Hua Yan (1682-1756) in his painting of beautiful female figures while the present work owes much in style and conception to another of the Eight, Li Shan (1686-ca. 1736). It has been noted that in addition to figure painting,“…flowers, rocks, birds, and fish from his hand were also marvelous…” and to this, on the basis of the present album, we can add fruit and vegetables.