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Chinese Paintings & Tapestries

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Winter scene with snow, Probably Late 18th century, Artist unknown, Oil on Canvas, 54”x81”

Winter scene with snow, Probably Late 18th century, Artist unknown, Oil on Canvas, 54”x81”
Winter scene with snow, Probably Late 18th century, Artist unknown, Oil on Canvas, 54”x81”

Location: The Marble staircase

The Rashtrapati Bhavan contains a collection of four Chinese paintings. The subjects depicted have been debated. Some scholars define these as Chinese festivals, while Caroline Fox (1819-1871), an English writer described these paintings as depicting four seasons. These paintings adorned the India Office Council Room corridors and were presented to Viceroy’s House in 1930 by Secretary of State for India.

This painting depicts a village ceremony, celebrating beginning of the Chinese New Year. Swirling Chinese clouds and small snowy mountains can be seen in background.

A circular procession of dancing villagers appears to be moving towards the central plane. Deep tones reflect European influences. People can be seen paying reverence to a temple with characteristic Chinese roof. According to the 1931 catalogue, empty blue sedan chairs of priests on the left show that they are inside the temple. A performance is being staged towards the right of the temple pavilion and an ox stands atop the temple portico, reached through a flight of long horizontal steps. In the midst of this vast procession, a judge is being carried in a blue carriage. A circular banner in motion precedes this carriage. This temple ceremony is followed by a military parade.

The research and compilation of the E- Catalogue has been realised by Shri VenuRajamony- Press Secretary to the President of India and Ruchi Kumar- Research Associate.
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