Along the River During the Qingming Festival – Art – New York Times

“ The ‘Qingming Festival’ is probably the single most widely known work in China,” said Marc F. Wilson, a Chinese specialist and the director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.

He added that the painting was “like China’s Mona Lisa. ”

Because of its fragility, the scroll is seldom displayed, even in Beijing, and has never been lent for an overseas exhibition.

It was briefly exhibited in Shanghai in 2003, where it drew lines that snaked for a quarter-mile outside the museum, and in Shenyang, China, in 2005.

“Qingming Festival” and 15 other paintings and examples of calligraphy dating from the 6th to the 14th centuries are to remain on display through July 22. Another 16 works, dating from the 4th to the 16th centuries, will be on view from July 23 to Aug. 11.

Zheng Xinmiao, China’s vice minister of culture and the director of the Palace Museum in Beijing, described the works as “the highest grade of art ever shown” outside of China proper.

“Through all the turmoil of different dynasties, it is remarkable for these pieces to survive,” he said….

“It’s detailed, it’s marvelous, it’s very colorful,” he said.

….The last emperor, Pu Yi, quietly took the painting with him when forced to leave the Forbidden City in 1924. The Japanese military later installed him as the puppet ruler of Manchuria; caught by the Soviet Army at the end of World War II, he still had the painting.

The Soviets handed over the painting to a bank in northeastern China for safekeeping. It stayed there until 1950, when it was transferred to a nearby museum and later to Beijing.

‘China’s Mona Lisa’ –

Ni Zan’’s “Ink Bamboo” (14th c.) Courtesy of the Palace Museum.

Keith Bradsher has done a great article, as always, about the “The Pride of China” exhibition at the The Hong Kong Museum of Art, which you can view here:

The show, featuring painting and calligraphy from Beijing’s Palace Museum, is not big. There are only 30-odd pieces. But they are said to be exceptional, both in terms of aesthetics and historical significance; the oldest are a millennium old.

The works will be split into two exhibits, one that runs until July 22, and another than runs July 23-Aug 11. The first half has been particularly popular because it includes Zhang Zeduan’s 5.3-meter “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Bradsher calls it “arguably China’s most famous painting” and quotes an expert likening it to “China’s Mona Lisa.”

I hear that weekend tickets are already booked out, and demand is so great that the museum is limiting viewers to an hour’s viewing. (Of course, once you pay, you can take all the time you want in the museum’s other exhibits).

If you are free, you can try your luck at off-times, like weekday mornings. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day but Thursdays. Or, you can reserve by calling Urbtix at (852) 2734 9009. And if you are organized enough to book a week in advance, you can do so online at

Ancient Chinese art may not be the most accessible form of culture. So the museum has set up more than 20 lectures from art experts to explain things. Most of these are in Chinese and the full list is here. There will also be English-language talks on four consecutive Saturdays: Dr. Roderick Whitfield of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (July 14), Dr Alfreda Murck of the Palace Museum (July 21), Dr Anita Chung of the Cleveland Museum of Art (July 28), and Dr Roslyn Lee Hammers of The University of Hong Kong (Aug. 4).


國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum


The original upon which this work is based, by Chang Tse-tuan (active early 12th century), is a masterful unfolding of Sung dynasty life and customs at the capital of Pien (K’ai-feng) in a long handscroll format. This theme, popular in the Northern Sung (960-1126), has been copied often throughout the ages. There are seven versions alone in the National Palace Museum, and this one by court painters of the imperial painting academy under the Ch’ien-lung Emperor (reigned 1736-1795) is one of the most famous. Each version reflects not only the painting style but also life and appearances of the period it was made. 

This version represents a collaboration by five court painters (Ch’en Mei, Sun Hu, Chih K’un, Tai Hung, and Ch’en Chih-tao) and was finished in 1736. It can be said to be a copy that combines the style and features of previous versions along with unique customs of the Ming and Ch’ing, such as the forms of entertainment popular at the time. The lively activities include a theatrical performance, monkey show, acrobatics, and a martial arts ring to lend a festive air to the scenery. 

Brilliantly colored and characterized by sure, fine brushwork, this represents a fine example of Ch’ing court painting. Although this handscroll has lost much of the archaic feel of the Sung dynasty version, it is a valuable source of information for late Ming and early Ch’ing life and customs. The style also reflects the influence of Western painting techniques, popular at the court then. The buildings and streets, for example, were rendered with Western-style perspective, and even some Western-influenced architecture appears. The bridge and buildings are depicted in the ruled-line method (“chieh-hua”), and the figures are also exquisitely detailed.

電子動態版-清明上河圖 River of wisdom 1/2 (可能係最好的 live 版) – YouTube




gaiafraudula 5 months ago


  1. I’ve used Youtube for over 3 years intensively this is the first time I leave a comment.
    Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your effort in showcasing the grandeur of China and its people.

anitabillings 8 months ago 24  

  • The most wonderful account I’ve ever seen of Chinese people in their daily work-a-day lives. Magnificent!
  1. Superb. And the music is wonderful.Boggoranthius 2 weeks ago
        awesome ..!!!!
  • am proud to be a 32
    thank you and a big bravo to you pyfung 68

pierreyeung 2 weeks ago

Thebeauty of this presentation is beyond words! Amazing, to see how well the animation is embeded into the whole panorama! Impressive, the way movement melds with the artwork!

shant0n 4 weeks ago

  1. Can you believe the original painting is only 24.8cm height 528cm long? You may enjoy the beauty of the painting more easily after listening to
    會動的清明上河圖 蔣勳講座1~5

dujanejane 1 month ago

  • I wonder how long it took them to finish this!!!!Lydiacookie123 1 month ago
  1. thxhumorbibby 1 month ago
  1. Wow cant believe this is a painting!!duncanmcloed1 1 month ago
  2. Thank you for sharing.shaing0607 1 month ago

3D動畫版《清明上河圖》 – YouTube

  1. I think what makes it fascinating is that they made a famous historic painting come to life. But it is baeutifully done!
    If it wasn’t an ancient painting it would be just another cartoon, it wouldn’t have been quite as interesting.

Rab1975bit 4 months ago 2  

  • The technology is not new, yes its a glorified cartoon, but the way it is presented and the scale of it makes it impressive….bobbyypwong 4 months ago
  • Thank you for this video, especially your effort to highlight special themes in the painting. I guess I would not have been able to enjoy this as much even if I were in the swarm. Really appreciate!
  1. Wow … this is amazing !I
    I have never seen it before .Thank you for sharing !

rosalinesouw 5 months ago

  • In case you haven’t noticed, I believe it requires a lot of computer graphics and programming/technical skills to make this cartoon on a big screen, which depicts very boring activities, to work. I think it’s quite amazing! I am not a computer genius. I am sure it does not really mean anything to those computer wizards who have done bigger and better things than this.gchoy2005 6 months ago
  1. @MaplePartyTVThe point is the Chinese ink painting and Chinese ancient culture. The technology just helps to present all of these to people.summerfl7 5 months ago
  1. That’s the culture,
    in ancient china

newtonsecondlaw 5 months ago



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