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Ancient Chinese Painting On Stamp

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To introduce the beauty of ancient Chinese art, Chunghwa Post (Taiwan Post) has issued a souvenir sheet based on the painting "Nine Elders of Mt. Hsiang" from the National Palace Museum collection. The sheet comprises three stamps, one with a denomination of NT$5 and the other two with NT$25 each.

The painting Nine Elders of Mt. Hsiang, by an anonymous Song Dynasty painter, depicts a scene from a party. Because the host and guests were all over 70, they were called the nine elders. The painting is in the shape of a round fan. The painter used large pines and boulders to cleverly divide the composition.

On the upper right there are two men reading from a scroll in a bamboo grove (NT$25). On the lower right there are three men holding a conversation and a man, with a flower on his head, dancing to amuse others (NT$25). There is a creek cutting through the left, and a man watching two other men, who are playing chess with great concentration. A young servant stands nearby (NT$5). The color palette demonstrates an elegantly classical touch. The expressions of the figures are vivid and refined, and the lines of their clothes, the trees, and the boulders are strong and rugged, with brushstrokes that convey great power. Though the painting is small, the spatial composition is so clearly defined. Packed with great detail, it is an exquisite example of a Southern Song Dynasty booklet painting.

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