• Sharon

Beauties Wearing Flowers (簪花仕女图) Maternity Portrait

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

Zhou Fang's 簪花仕女图 is one of the most iconic paintings of the Tang dynasty. It was famous for being one of the first paintings to depict aristocratic ladies in a realist style. Prior to this, most paintings with human subjects featured stylised, poetic portrayals of deities or mythological characters.

Apart from showcasing the Tang dynasty's opulent ideal of beauty, some critics observe that the ladies in Zhou's painting exude a mood of languid loneliness, with their leisurely walks in the garden conveying the empty triviality of their luxurious lives. When we take into account how this painting was completed right after the An Lushan Rebellion, this knowledge adds an extra layer of poignancy to the work. The ladies appear to be living in a dream, unaware of the changing times beyond their sequestered existence. Perhaps the painter could not bear to disrupt their reverie and wanted them to remain blissfully ignorant, immortalised as a representation of the High Tang period he loved so well.

Model / Makeup : Yun

Hanfu / Photography / Styling: Sharon

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