Cranes, Peach Tree, and Chinese Roses, Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
After Shen Nanpin (Shen Quan) (Chinese, 1682–1758)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk; Image 78 1/4 x 39 3/4 in. (198.8 x 101 cm); overall with mounting 97 3/4 x 48 1/8 in. (248.3 x 122.2 cm); overall with knobs 97 3/4 x 51 1/8 in. (248.3 x 129.9 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.81)
Both cranes and peaches are symbolic of longevity because of their association with immortals: the crane is often shown carrying an immortal on its back, and mythical peaches of immortality grow in the orchard of Xiwangmu, the queen mother of the west. The cranes and peaches thus evoke an isle of the immortals—perhaps Penglai, an auspicious paradise frequently depicted throughout East Asia.
In 1731, the Chinese artist Shen Nanpin went to Nagasaki to teach Japanese students the traditional Chinese style of realistic painting, resulting in the formation of the Nagasaki school. Even after Nanpin returned to China, many works in his style continued to be imported into Japan, influencing Japanese painting into the late Edo period.