Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

A catalogue of the Ashmolean collection of Chinese paintings by Shelagh Vainker (published Oxford, 2000).

Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford by Shelagh Vainker

Publications online: 222 objects

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Birds on a flowering branch

  • Literature notes

    Zhu Cheng was from Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, and was active in Shanghai by 1862. Demand for his small-scale paintings, mostly fans, was high and his later works tend to be larger, and bolder in style. He is best known for bird and flower painting.
  • Description

    Shanghai experienced rapid changes and growth during the 19th century as a port open to the West. Many artists came to Shanghai to seek opportunity and relative safety from political and cultural upheaval. Their work contained less traditional literati symbolism and emphasized the visual content of the painting itself. These paintings were well received by the emerging middle class around Shanghai. Zhu Cheng was one of these artists who were loosely termed the Shanghai School. The lively brushwork and vibrant colours as demonstrated in this painting are major characteristics of the distinctive Shanghai style. Zhu also followed Hua Yan's (1682-1756) techniques and methods of depicting the movements of birds. The inscription reads 'For the esteemed Mr. Kechen to appreciate and critcize.'

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia China (place of creation)
    AsiaChina Shanghai province (probable place of creation)
    Zhu Cheng (1826 - 1900) (artist)
    Material and technique
    ink and colour on silk
    mount 55.5 x 40.2 cm (height x width)
    page 24.1 x 25.1 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Purchased, 1965.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 168 on p. 192, illus. p. 193 fig. 168


    • Second floor | Room 38 | China from 800

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