Items such as this became fashionable during the reign of Kangxi (1662-1722) and were used as a backdrop for formal gatherings in the reception hall of the mansions of the wealthy. Each panel (cm. 64 x 335) is made of black lacquered wood with openwork rosettes at the bottom and the Chinese character “shou” (long life) at the center; and rectangular reserves with the blue character “xi” (happiness) at the center.
Happiness and Long Life
On one side, a long gold inscription on black silk satin, of cm. 200 of height; on the reverse side one landscape for each panel, painted on paper. Having designs on both sides, it did not necessarily always stand against a wall.
“This twelve panel folding screen was painted in the mid-nineteenth century, commissioned by a group of officials as a gift to a colleague who was retiring from office due to age. The writing praises the deeds of a certain Wu Ming Wang. The painter is Ma Yao Zi”. (Prof. Shang Gang, 1996)
In the left lower corner on the scenery side, the seal stamp and the painter’s colophon are present: “Painted by Ma Yaozi in the pavilion of the clouds, in the first decade of the sixth month of the cycle Jiachen, during the government of Emperor Daoguang” (Prof. Bruno J. Richtsfeld, 2003). It corresponds to the year 1844.
(Height cm. 335; Length cm. 768 - Paper and silk restoration by the Laboratory of Luana Maekawa, Florence - Restoration of lacquers by Jasmina dei Negri. Contribution of Fondazione Cariparma).