Early Spring

famous painting by Guo XiEarly Spring is perhaps the most controversial of all of Chinese painter Guo Xi’s landscape paintings. It was completed in 1072 and to the casual observer would seem a simple, yet highly detained landscape painting of mountains, trees and a waterfall. But, if you consider that the painting was completed during the Song Dynasty when the country was ruled by Emperor Shenzong, a reformer who worked to improve the living conditions of peasants and the unemployed.

Guo Xi’s son, Guo Si, explained the painting and how it represents a harmonious society…The mountain peaks represent the emperor and his government, important members of Chinese society are represented by the lofty pines growing on the mountains, scholars travel to a temple near the top of the painting, peasants and fisherman can be seen along the coastline, and a spring rain under fluffy clouds benevolently blankets the landscape signifying a good and just government.

To learn more about Guo Xi and see more of his famous paintings, please visit our Guo Xi biography.