Category: Landscapes of Asia Paintings
For the best possible display, this portrait should be professionally framed.
A frame is not included with this artwork!
Painting: 33.5cm x 33.5cm ≈ 13¼" x 13¼"
Silk Border: 43.5cm x 43.5cm ≈ 17" x 17"Information about how this Asian painting is mounted
The title of this painting is "Chang Cheng" which means "Great Wall".
The Great Wall is one of the greatest epic construction projects in Chinese history as well as the world.
The Great Wall stretches some 6,350 kilometers (about 4000 miles) across various parts of Northern China. But it's not just one wall, the Great Wall is actually many walls that are somewhat strung together (though much of the Great Wall isn't connected at all).
These are the only facts about the Great Wall that is not in dispute.
Archeologists and historians often argue about the following facts, but this is what I have found in my own research...
Originally, work on first sections of wall started in the 7th century B.C. During the Zhou Dynasty leading up to the Warring States period. During this period of history, China was far from unified, and none of the states trusted any of the other states, and therefore built walls to protect from attack.
Later, sometime after 221 B.C., the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty decided that after his great feat of unifying China for the first time, he ought to connect all of the walls together. The idea was to protect the northern border of the kingdom from attack and harassment from the Xiongnu tribe that didn't particularly like their new and powerful southern neighbors.
The struggle continued into the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.). After major battles in 127 B.C. and chasing their enemies into the Gobi Desert, Emperor Wu ordered a wall be built to keep the enemies of the Han Dynasty at bay.
Construction of various walls continued for another thousand years during several dynasties.
Just after 1210, the Mongols (remember Genghis Khan?) were taunted by a corrupt northern Chinese ruler who told the Mongols that they would need to submit to his rule. The Mongols were understandably put off by this, and promptly invaded and eventually took over almost all of what is now China. At that time, the Great Wall was in various conditions of decay, and provided little defense when the Mongols advanced.
In turn, the Chinese (Han) people were not really happy about being occupied by the Mongols, mostly because they felt that the Mongols smelled bad, had no manners, and acted like barbarians (no, I didn't just make that up).
Finally, the Chinese chased out the smelly Mongolians (although to this day, Chinese do not use deodorant, so the pot seems to be calling the kettle "black" here).
In 1368, hoping that the Mongols would never regroup and return to China, Emperor Tai Zu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.) ordered the largest construction project in history. The whole concept of "brick and mortar" was the new advanced technology of the time. The Chinese used this technology to build a wall that has stood the test of time for more than 630 years. If you go to China today, most of the Great Wall that you will see is from this period. Previous walls have either decayed to dust, or the new wall was built on top of the old.
Sadly, the wall was never put to the test, as the Manchurians, much as the Mongols before them conquered China by exploiting the weaknesses of corrupt officials and rampant poverty rather than any weakness in the Great Wall.
During Manchurian rule (known as the Qing Dynasty 1616 - 1911 A.D.) the wall was all but forgotten. The Republic of China was established in 1912, but soon found itself in a war with Japan, and after WWII, plunged into civil war with the Communists. When Chairman Mao took power, he shunned all things of tradition, history, and culture in China. This included the Great Wall, some of which was demolished for spite. Of course, ancient city walls, Buddhist and Taoism temples, and even the Forbidden City were razed, burned, or destroyed under his orders.
It's really been in more recent times that the Great Wall has found it's calling as a tourist attraction. No longer seen as "an embarrassing old relic" as it was during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese people can now celebrate the marvel of the largest manmade object on earth.
Oh, and It might just be an urban legend, but many believe The Great Wall is the only manmade object on earth that is was visible in 1969 by American astronauts as they returned from the moon.
This was painted by Zi Shi of Beijing China. The season and place are noted in the Chinese script along with the year painted as well as the artist's signature and stamp.
The style and media of this painted is detailed freehand watercolor and special black Chinese ink on xuan paper (rice paper) and mounted with a traditional silk border.
This item was listed or modified
Jun 9th, 2011
Gary's random little things about China:
Parking your car on the sidewalk is legal in most places in China. I am talking fully on the sidewalk, and fully blocking the sidewalk, so that nobody can walk there at all. After all, there is a perfectly good roadway for pedestrians and cars to share just past the edge of the sidewalk - right?
In many urban areas, there is a sidewalk parking attendant who will ensure that you park in such a way that no one can use the sidewalk at all. They will also charge a fee of 2 Yuan (26 cents) for up to a full day of sidewalk parking privileges.
The green light means "go". The Yellow light means "20 more cars should enter the intersection". The red light means "5 more cars enter the intersection and become a nuisance to pedestrians trying to cross the street".
Actually, the green light means "Try to go, but you'll probably have to wait for the yellow or red light before you get your chance".
If you get in a car accident, it's best to argue briefly with the other driver, and then both drive away. When the police get involved, everyone gets fined, and someone might lose their license. The fines are generally higher than what it will cost to fix your car, so hanging around to exchange insurance information is rare in minor fender-benders.
If your car is too damaged to drive away, you are screwed. The police own and operate all of the tow trucks in most Chinese cities. You will be fined, charged for towing, charged an impound fee, and may lose your license.
On long stretches of highway, police checkpoints are occasionally set up. They may be stopping drivers and summarily fining them for wearing sunglasses or talking on a mobile phone while driving. However, in the next stretch of highway, another police checkpoint may be issuing fines for driving without sunglasses.
Under certain circumstances, and if you are really unlucky, drivers who get in injury accidents while drunk may be executed. If you are caught drinking and driving just once, you will be fined, and will probably lose your drivers license for the rest of your life.
Thus, drunk driving has become very rare in China.