Height: 26.500 cm
Width: 36.500 cm
Gift of Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Asia OA 1906.11-28.14
Ding Liangxian, Arbutus and Grasshopper, a colour woodblock print
From Suzhou, Jiangsu province,
Qing dynasty, about AD 1690
This print was originally produced by members of the Ding family studio in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. Each print is of an auspicious (favourable) subject accompanied by a verse that is a pun on the motifs depicted.
This print is a representation of summer, as is indicated by the accompanying verse. It is also a wish for a successful career and academic achievement. The grasshopper signifies an official of the highest rank, while the red of the arbutus fruit represents the colour of the highest academic honours.
Prints like this would have been made using a succession of differently inked blocks. The technique of embossing known as gonghua created a slight relief in which the subtle colour gradations of the arbutus are enhanced.