VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Theatre folk picture
17061 I
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Folk picture "Fire Mace" is dedicated to an episide from the play of "Generals of Yang Family" cycle, narrating the story of struggle between the Chenese and the Qidan tribes in the 19th century. maid Yang Pai-feng (leftmost) mastered supernatural techniques of matrial art. The picture shows her knocking the cane out of hands of commander0in-chief Jiao Zan (amidmost) , who wanted to test her extraordinary abilities.A dignitary and general watching the course of events are standing on the platfirm to the right. Traditional Chinese theatre, or Beijing opera, was based on combination of pantomime, ballet with acrobatic exercises, falsetto singing, and recitative. Make-up was really essential, for judging by its colour and pattern the spectator would know the nature of even stage destiny of the character. The scenery was tentatively laconic; the chair could represent the emperor's throne, a cart or a hill, from which the general would control a battle. In the course of the play an actor would now and then stop and remain stockstill for some time in certain attitude, being a principal atribute of the character. These culminating points were portrayed in nianhua.

History of the Object
Chinese folk picture, or nianhua (New Year picture) , was made by means of xylography, wood block printing on paper with subsequent colouring with water paints. The subjects of popular pictures were numerous and could be conventionally divided into several groups, among which folk pictures of literary-theatrical nature count for much. Due to their existence even illirate people become acquainted with the best examples of classical literature and with national history.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Paper, color print, painting 
Measurements
34 x 56 cm 
Creator name
 
Creator date
 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
 
Function
 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
 
Museum
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Credit line
The State Museum of Oriental Art 

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