Celebrate the Chinese New Year with the paintings, prints and papercuts depicting legendary figures from Chinese folklore.
The online version of the Beauties and Heroes: Legends and Stories in Chinese Art exhibition is now live, providing additional information about the works currently on display in the Ashmolean's Chinese Paintings Gallery, including zoom-able high-resolution images, detailed information about each art work, as well the descriptive labels from the exhibition.
Legends and stories have been represented in houses, temples and tombs for more than 2000 years in China. These images of beauties and heroes are not realistic portraits, but illustrate scenes of classic literature, frozen moments of theatrical plays, or snapshots of imaginary worlds in folklore. Many of these paintings serve a similar function to traditional Chinese performance art to teach history and moral standards. Some are closely connected to festivals, such as the New Year celebration, as a way to bring good fortune.
After the physical display of this exhibition ends, the web-based version of the exhibition will remain online indefinitely, as an archived resource that can continue to be explored.
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