The painting is titled “Spring Breeze”: though it may not be obvious at first glance, the blooming flowers sway and bend in the wind. This motion captures the painting’s central themes, suggesting the artist’s attention to invisible forces, the power and beauty of youth, and triumph over adversity.
Elegant and beautiful, peonies have a unique meaning in Chinese painting iconography, and they are considered the queen of flowers in China. A painting of a peony brings good fortune; however, it is better to put such work on the south of a room, and to make sure that it receives sunlight during the day. Otherwise, it is possible that the painting will bring bad luck to the owner of the room.
There are innumerable styles, schools and categories of Chinese painting, as is perhaps to be expected for such an ancient tradition. This painting can be included into freehand style under bird and flower painting category, and it is very similar to the expressionist freehand painting in Ming and Qing dynasties, which reflect the artists’ state-of-mind rather than represent their subjects faithfully.
There are two main ways to represent subjects in Chinese painting: the figurative, which closely imitates the subject’s physical appearance, and the impressionistic style, which involves artistic touches and flourishes that make the subject seem more pleasing, or that emphasize some of its different aspects. The abstract quality of this painting makes it typical of the impressionist style.
Negative space is a signature technique in Chinese painting, andit leaves the viewer room for interpretation.It’s particular effective in this work, since it highlights the breeze’s motion. The sparse use of colour make the peonies look soft, feminine, and vivid.