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The Spring Festival Picture

The Spring Festival Picture is a special type of painting in China. It is used during the Spring Festival. It is originated in the Pre-Qin Period (before 221 B.C.). People paste the images of various gods on both sides of the door, expecting them to ward off the evils and usher in good luck. In most cases, they are images of deities and spirits. There are 2 schools of the pictures: the southern school and the northern school. The representatives of the northern school are those from Yangliu-qing of Tianjin and Weifang of Shangdong. The subjects were mainly images from traditional operas, fat and healthy babies and fairy New-Year celebrations. A rich composition and refined drawing style showed its artistic characteristics. A style of simplicity, with bold and vigorous lines and bright colors, showed its characteristics. The most famous Spring Festival Pictures were those from Taohuawu of Suzhou and Foshan of Guangdong. While influenced by traditional styles, it also reflected certain features of European copper-plate printing. After the introduction of lithographic and offset printing into China, xylographic pictures were under great pressure and almost on the brink of decline. However, it is reborn after 1949. Many new Spring Festival Pictures that were excellent in both content and form were produced and the theme focused mainly on the real life of the people. This traditional artistic form is full of vigor and widely loved by the people.

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