The Emperor who painted birds

“Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself…”

Chinese proverb

This blog is at risk of becoming a list of painting Royalty, in the very literal sense. This delicate watercolour on silk of a Finch Billed Bulbul, was executed by Chinese Emperor Hui-tsung (1082-1135). It is one of few surviving works by this artist. Hui-tsung was considered a pretty weak political figure, but he had other talents. One was a prodigious ability to spend the public purse on his personal pursuits. He loved gardens, ponds, rock formations and his birds. His palace was the site of a large aviary and a significant gallery of art, many his own bird paintings. The Emperor had a great regard for naturalist detail, complex composition and an astonishing feeling for colour. #manaftermyownheart #anotheramateurpainter #letsmakelemonade

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