Peonies and Golden Pheasants

The “Peonies and Golden Pheasants” that collected in National Art Museum of China presents in the warm spring, on a strange stone beside a peach tree, two golden pheasants jump up and down and play joyfully.

" Peonies and Golden Pheasants " is a typical work of shoot-bending and bird-and- flower painting. It's well-structured and delicately-drawn. What should be touched upon is that in the upper part of the painting, in order to avoid monotony of the blank area, the painter smartly drew aside the strange stone a peach tree. On the out-stretching branch, the pinkish-white peach blossoms are glamorous and charming.

" Peonies and Golden Pheasants " is the representative work of Lu Ji, painter of Ming Dynasty. Lu Ji was a renowned court painter and commander of secret service agents.  In Ming Dynasty, secret service agent was a guard agency at the emperor's service. At the beginning, it was the close army guarding the imperial palace in charge of ceremony of emperor's going in and out of palace. But later it had more functions like arresting burglars and illegal parties and inspecting all civil and military officials. Officials in secret service agents belonged to military officials.

Of Hongzhi Emperor of Ming Dynasty, painter Lu Ji was regarded highly. Lu Ji was willing to draw for the Emperor and worked happily.

Emperor Hongzhi appreciated Lu Ji very much. He decided to appoint this painter the commander of secret service agents. In Hongzhi's mind, Lu Ji showed boldness by painting, and he was loyal, so military post was more suitable to him. Lu Ji served the court for tens of years and created considerable paintings. As hundred of years have passed by, only a small number of his paintings are preserved to today, mainly including " Lion-headed Goose " , " Pomegranate and Two Warblers " ,  "Plume Against the Background of Snow " , "Wild Duck in River " , etc. They are rare treasure of flower-and-bird paintings.
 
" Peonies and Golden Pheasants " of Lu Ji putting bright-colored golden pheasant and peony, with stands for fortune, together, expresses the way of appreciating beauty of Ming Dynasty court in China. The flower-and-bird paintings of Lu Ji are popular among people in the upper-level society. His painting had spread to Japan, which witnessed the communication of China and Japan in history.

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