(China  – )

Picture of one hundred sons ('Baizi tu')

Not on display
Further information

Taohuawu, a scenic spot in Suzhou, became the centre for the production of New Year prints in southern China during the late nineteenth century. Its production rivalled that of Yangliuqing (in Tianjing) in the north.

At the top of this print, the three large characters read 'baizi tu' or 'Picture of one hundred sons'. The print is a jumble of small figures in groups interspersed among architectural elements, and at times it can be difficult to discern the various parts. The upper figures show the complementary themes of the picture: success in civil service examination, especially by the two banners labelled "top graduate" ('zhuangyuan jidi'), and "winning the first place in the three successive civil service examinations" ('lianzhong sanyuan'). In the centre of the lower section, a dragon dance celebrates their happiness and a cartouche at upper left reads "Hope for a bumper harvest" ('wugu fengdeng'). To the right of this is a cartouche on which is inscribed "Celebrating the First Lunar Month Festival" ('qinghe yuanxiao'). The vignettes placed at the corners depict children pursing various games and amusements - playing chess, gambling, flying a kite, etc. The scalloped floral border is composed of the characters for "happiness" ('fu') and "longevity" ('shou') written in seal script.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2006.

Place of origin
Taohuawu, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
early 20th century
woodblock print; colour on paper
108.2 x 59.4 cm
Gift of Zhaoxian Ding 2006
Accession number