Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#415 China...Thanks Huo!

This 1.2yuan stamp is from 2008 Zhuxian Town Woodblock New Year Painting issue featuring a martial God in Tang Dynasty.

With a history of over 800 years. Zhuxian Town Woodblock New Year pictures are one of the oldest folk woodblock arts in China. Zhuxian Town is near Kaifeng. capital city in central Henan Province.

Local people still adopt the traditional techniques to produce New Year pictures now. Zhuxian New Year Picture originated in the Song Dynasty and flourished in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
There used to be more than 300 picture workshops. But they were reduced to no more than 70 at the end of the Qing Dynasty .

The themes vary from portraits of martial and intellectual gods to portraits of spirits. The themes are classified into three categories: 1. Exorcising ghosts and conferring blessing; 2. Propitious gods and customs; 3. Theatrical and historical legends.

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