back to
On Exhibit

"Many are the exquisite blossoms which bloom on land, or which rise from the water. Tao Yuanming loved the Chrysanthemum, and since the days of Tang the Peony has been a popular favorite, but to me the Lotus, 'which rises from the mud without being stained thereby,' is incomparable. In the world of plants the Chrysanthemum may be compared to the retired scholar and the Peony to the prosperous person of wealth, while the Lotus takes the position of the 'Superior Man'. Alas! Since the days of Tao there has arisen no real lover of the Chrysanthemum, and who will succeed me in the love of the Lotus? The admirers of the Peony are ever the most numerous."
From Zhou Dunyi (1017-1073) Song Dynasty

Huan Yan, zi Qiuyui (1682-1756) was a native of Shanghang, Fujian province. Born and raised in the poor family of a paper maker, Hua became an apprentice in his childhood. Hardships at home urged him to travel after he was twenty, including visiting Beijing. He settled in Yangzhou where he earned his living as a versatile and skillful artist from paintings specializing in figures, landscapes, and flowers and birds. Hua established his own refreshing and innovative style by studying ancient paintings of the Song and Yuan dynasties as well as more recent masters such as Shitao (1618-1707) and Yun Shouping (1633-1690). He was considered an equal of Yun Shouping and a master of the "three best arts" -- painting, poetry, and calligraphy. One of the great Yangshou painters of the Qing dynasty, Hua's achievements in bird-and-flower painting exerted tremendous influence on later generations.
© 2000 Copyright for China 2000 Fine Art