Lu Zhi, attrib.
Album of Landscapes with Cranes
These charming landscapes populated by flocks of white cranes are drawn from a complete album of twelve leaves now distributed among Bowdoin, Amherst, Williams and Dartmouth Colleges. In the Chinese tradition cranes are of enormous significance, representing purity, nobility, spiritual transcendence and especially longevity, a theme that is repeatedly emphasized throughout the album.
In the upper album leaf, for example, the peach tree is also a symbol of long life, because it was believed that the Daoist immortals maintained their immortality by eating the fruit of a magical peach tree. Pictured in the lower album leaf, the pine represents longevity, too, but for different reasons. Pine trees are able to survive and even thrive in harsh climates.
Eleanor Meyer, Bowdoin ’08