Posted 6 years ago
I picked this huge Chinese scroll painting up from Volunteer's of America this morning. I almost missed it as it was hanging in the corner of the showcase wall. It was barely half unrolled so I leaned over the case and was able to take it off the hook. I laid it on the counter and unrolled it to it's full six foot length. It revealed the rest of scene with two large cranes standing in a pine tree while others fly overhead. It's really impressive. A few marks and wrinkles but no tears or holes. You can see some of the paint bleed through on the back side, so it's an actual watercolor on heavy paper with silk borders. The bottom has a lacquered wooden dowel with finials on each end. The top has a red and gold silk cord attached to a wooden bar at the top. I don't think it's that old but it is really a nice decorative piece. I've no clue about the artist, but I'm sure his signature is in the writing somewhere along with the title and other salutations. -Mike-
Meaning and Symbolism of the Crane
Courtesy of Chinesehoroscope.com
In Chinese paintings, cranes are often painted with other important symbols such as peaches and pine trees. The image of a crane with its wings stretched out and one leg raised up has the symbol of longevity. When it is combined with the pine and a spotted deer is known as the ‘prolonged life’. Cranes with peony flowers symbolize prosperity and longevity, while cranes with lotus symbolize purity and longevity. A crane flying towards the sun expresses the desire for social advancement. A picture of a crane perched on rock and looking at the sun is symbolic of an important authority who can see everything.
Crane fly in the skies above the dusty world, therefore the bird is also considered as a symbol of cleanliness and purity. It is said that the death of a Taoist priest is “turning into a feathered crane”. The crane carries the spirit of the departed to the heaven according to Chinese legends.