Lu Zhi, attrib.
Album of Landscapes with Cranes
How do you think an elegant Chinese gentleman would say "Happy Birthday"? He might paint and give an album such as landscapes with cranes as a gift to wish his recipient a long life full of happiness. In this album attributed to Lu Zhi cranes and peaches symbolize longevity and immortality. In one painting cranes point their beaks in unison towards the moon. The wind rustles through the leaves of a nearby tree as the cranes await the arrival of Daoist immortals. Legend has it that the cranes will then carry these immortals on their backs as they travel from one heavenly realm into the next. In another album leaf cranes perform a dance across the sky above a tree ripening with peaches. The origin of the peach is a symbol of immortality is based on the story of the Queen Mother of the West. When a person eats a peach from her garden, the story tells us they will be granted 10,000 years of life. All of these auspicious symbols and connotations would have made this album a perfect birthday present.
Angela Martinelli ‘08