The Night Revels of Han Xizai is an iconic painting in Chinese painting history and one of the top ten masterpieces in China. It was painted by Gu Hongzhong, a South Tang painter in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. The surviving copy is made during the Song dynasty, with ink and pigment on silk, and is housed in the Palace Museum in Beijing.
The year 2020 marks the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City and the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Palace Museum. The Night Revels of Han Xizai will again be on display to the public at the exhibition “Past Lives: Ancient Figure Paintings in the Palace Museum Collection”, which has been widely anticipated.
The existing original painting is 28.7cm wide and 335.5cm long and depicts in a long handscroll how Hai Xizai, a high-ranking official of the Southern Tang, held a night banquet. The narrative painting presents with vivid details the different sections of Han’s night party, that is, listening to music, watching dance, taking a rest, playing string instruments and seeing guests off. The whole painting is featured by its vigorous and flowing touch, neatness, delicacy and imaginative composition.
he fifth lecture of “Open Book for Arts” will be held on Saturday afternoon, January 11th 2020. Professor Ma Ling of Fudan University will be invited to the Heart Hall of Pearl Art Museum. She will elaborate on this most famous masterpiece from three aspects including its storyline and representation, clothes and utensils, appraisal and collection, trying to delve into the charm and mystery concerning the celebrity revels a thousand years ago. and explore the truth deep inside.
Professor Ma, Master of Arts, holder of doctoral degree of history and postdoctoral researcher of journalism and communication, is now a professor of Fudan University as well as a book reviewer and art lover. The courses she offers include study on iconography and has written a series of papers concerning this masterpiece.