Canton, end of the nineteenth century.
Oblong 4to album [210 x 308 mm] of 28 leaves illustrated with painted gouaches on rice paper, small tears in 5 paintings, 2 of which touching the paintings. Blind-stamped decorated black buckram, title “album” gilt-stamped in the center of the front cover, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
Magnificent album containing a set of 28 large Chinese gouaches painted on rice paper in fresh colors, each framed in gold paper.
Among these 28 gouaches, 11 are dedicated to the sumptuous ceremony organized in honor of the 70th birthday of the Chinese general Guo Ziyi in 767.
Guo Ziyi, born in 697, died July 9, 781, also posthumously called Prince Zhōngwǔ of Fényáng (汾陽忠武王), was a Tang Dynasty general, who ended the An Lushan Revolt (one of the greatest civil wars in history, which took place from December 16, 755 to February 17, 763) and participated in expeditions against the Uyghur Khaganate and the Tibetan Empire.
He is seen as one of the most powerful generals of the Tang dynasty. After his death, he is immortalized in Chinese mythology as the God of fortune and happiness (guì shòu kǎo).
To celebrate the 70th birthday of this very powerful general, a lavish ceremony was organized.
More than 3 000 guests were gathered for the occasion.
The paintings represent thus:
– a large bouquet,
– 3 scenes of processions with musicians,
– porters supporting the very luxurious palanquin of the general,
– porters carrying a palanquin containing gifts for the general (hat and shoes),
– porters with a palanquin containing the crown of the general’s wife as well as a belt symbol of power,
– 2 scenes of lantern bearers,
– porters bring a piece of furniture supporting a representation of the general and his family. The general surmounts the scene; a dragon is represented under him. At the bottom we see again the general with his 7 sons on the left,
– The porters of the next scene carry a Chinese tower. At the foot of the tower the general is again shown with his seven sons,
– the next scene shows the porters with a large hanging stretched on a horizontal pole. We find on this hanging the symbol of happiness,
– 7 scenes of fight,
– 6 scenes of punishments, …
A rare and precious copy of remarkable finesse of execution, preserved in its original binding.