Diao Chan - Famous Beauty of Ancient China - Wall Scroll

Approximate Measurements

Artwork Panel: 64cm x 130.4cm  ≈  25¼" x 51¼"

Silk/Brocade: 74cm x 188cm  ≈  29" x 74"

Width at Wooden Knobs: 83cm  ≈  32¾"

Diao Chan - Famous Beauty of Ancient China - Wall Scroll close up view

Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll

Diao Chan

Deadliest of the Four Beauties of Ancient China.

About the Four Beauties of China:

In Chinese culture, there are four famous beautiful woman of China.

They are thought to be the most beautiful and significant woman of China's ancient history.

Although the stories about these woman are based on fact, they are also steeped in legend.

These woman have remained famous through history because of the drastic effects on the emperors, kings, and kingdoms with whom they were bound.

Some of the beauties brought kingdoms and dynasties to their knees.

Most of the beauties had lives that ended in tragedy or mystery.

The legend and history of these woman has inspired Chinese artists for generations to create paintings that depict these four famous beauties of ancient China.

More about the beauty depicted on this scroll:

The woman in this painting is known as "Diao Chan Xi Hua"

She is usually just referred to as "Diao Chan", and she was a key player in the epic novel, "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Just like "Homer's Odyssey", nobody seems sure if the facts in the novel are truth, or fiction. But the legend of this woman is so strong that she lives on, regardless of whether she actually existed.

Her Story:

Diao Chan's legend is that she was so beautiful the she could cause men who were the closest of

During Three Kingdoms Period of China (220 A.D. - 280 A.D.), a man named Dong Zhuo was becoming the tyrant of the land; doing everything he could to gain more power.

After leveling false accusations against an official with whom he found displeasure, and then having that official beheaded on the spot, many were concerned for the future of the kingdom.

Diao Chan in an effort to have the evil Dong Zhuo removed from power, allowed herself to become betrothed to a warrior named Lu Bu. At the same time, she was offered as a concubine to Dong Zhuo. The plan was to infuriate the two men so much, that Lu Bu would finally kill Dong Zhuo. Every chance she had, she would fuel the fire between these two men. It is said that these men were so blinded by her beauty that they could not see the plot and trap that she had laid before them. With both men filled with rage, the warrior Lu Bu joined a plot to assassinate Dong Zhuo.

The plot was successful. Dong Zhuo was killed. His clan put into disarray, and taken from power.

For her part in manipulating the two men, Diao Chan was murdered by the surviving members of Dong Zhuo's clan.

You can draw your own conclusions about the lessons to be learned from this tale. If you want the whole story, you will have to read the book yourself.

About the Artist

This was painted and is signed by 亮道 (Liang Dao) of Guilin China.
He does lots of figure paintings, including warriors and deities.

This painting is titled "Diao Chan Burns Incense [in the] Moonlight". Along with that title, the rest of the characters include the year painted (2007) and the artist's signature.

This is painted on xuan paper (rice paper), I later took it back to our workshop in Beijing and had it mounted by hand to a silk wall scroll.