DIPTYCHS, TRIPTYCHS AND TETRAPTYCHS
This is my long-overdue final posting to the Gusu Beauties series.
Among 18th century Suzhou prints there are several examples of two prints constituting a whole image, where the scene and design in one print continues into the other, forming a diptych. This is different from a pair of prints where figures or motif compose a duilian 對聯 – a couplet or a complementing pair, for example the traditional arms-brandishing door-gods facing each other.
Most of the Chinese diptych prints consist of large (c.100 x 50 cm.) landscapes from the 1730s and 40s. The most published example is the 1734 Encyclopaedic View of Jobs in the City (Sanbai liushi hangtu) 三百六十行圖, the earliest dated diptych among Suzhou prints, now belonging to the Umi-Mori Art Museum in Hiroshima, formerly the Osha’joh Museum of Art.
Another example is the 1747 New Year’s Morning (Suichaotu) and Four Imperial…
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