About this artwork
This painting illustrates a fable written by Tao Qian (365-427). From right to left, the scroll depicts a fisherman’s accidental discovery of a peaceful and bountiful farming valley, which is isolated within a mountain cave. The valley’s inhabitants, who had fled from political turmoil six centuries earlier, are unaware of subsequent events in the outside world. Blossoming peach trees, symbolic of immortality, conceal the entrance to their secluded paradise.
In depicting this mythic tale, many artists utilized a traditional palette of finely ground mineral pigments-azurite blue and malachite green- to evoke this jewel-like land. Qiu Ying was a renowned master of this “blue-and-green technique. While consistent with Qiu Ying’s precise and decorative style, the soft and restrained brushwork of this scroll suggests that it was painted by one of his close followers.
- Qiu Ying
- The Peach Blossom Spring
- Handscroll; ink and color on silk
- 32.4 × 543 cm (12 3/4 i×17 ft 9 5/8 in.)
- Kate S. Buckingham Endowment