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A City of Cathay

Price: $ 49.95


Painted for the young Qianlong Emperor in 1736, "A City of Cathay" is an 11-meter handscroll by artists of the Qing court. It depicts a captivating vision of urban life centuries earlier in the Northern Song capital (modern Kaifeng), on the day of the springtime Qingming festival. Here you will find a wedding procession with colorful banners and musicians; a lively outdoor opera; performing monkeys, acrobats and a tight-rope walker; and the happy, carefree lives of the common people.

Its energy, accessibility and meticulous detail rank this among the greatest of Chinese paintings. Enter medieval China's age of wealth and witness the rich texture of Chinese life in imperial times.


Virtual Reality TourClose-up

The distinctive format of an oriental scroll painting presents a continuous series of narrative scenes.

Each area of the scroll, which measures 36 feet long in the original, can be enlarged 64 times to allow you to appreciate its every masterly detail..
Theme ToursGuide

If you step into the painting "A City of Cathay", what kind of sounds will you hear and what sort of things will you see?

Simulated audio effects, together with pictures and text, lead you on atreasure-hunt which lets you directly experience the varied charms of life for ordinary Chinese townsfolk.
Appreciation of AntiquitiesHighlights

As you open up the scroll, you will appreciate the thousands of figures, the hundreds of shops and stalls, all the different means of transport and the panoply of street scenes.

These thematic groupings take you on a walk through the streets of the Northern Song capital, introducting you to contemporary life in all its rich variety.
Interactive TimelineJourney

How does the layout of Chinese architectural painting differ from that of Western perspective-based painting?

This menu will be your best guide to deeper appreciation and artistic study.

Like to know how many artists collaborated together on this painting? Or when, where and under what circumstances different artists worked on it?

Background information and profiles of the artists allow you to understand the painting's genesis and its different versions down the centuries.

Choose from two puzzle games based on different sections of the painting.
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