One Hundred Children at Play


tradition of Su Hanchen 蘇漢臣

(Chinese, active c. 1101–1125)

tradition of Wang Juzhen

Image: 28.7 x 31.2 cm (11 5/16 x 12 5/16 in.); with mat: 33.3 x 40.5 cm (13 1/8 x 15 15/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Did You Know?

Following a baby’s birth, ceremonies and festivities traditionally marked the baby’s successive attainment of thirty days, one hundred days, and one year in age. “One hundred children” paintings such as this album leaf would have been suitable for presentation on either of the latter occasions.


Paintings on the “one hundred children” theme usually have numerous, if not exactly 100, children. A majority of the children here imitate the dress, manners, and activities of the adult world. Whatever the exact significance of the subject, the painter of this album leaf clearly intended it to be savored figure by figure. With seemingly inexhaustible invention, the artist characterized each performer in the colorful pageant with unique accoutrements and action. The avoidance of overlapping allows each figure to be seen in clear detail, while all the figures are organized into a coherent composition. Garden settings with decorative rocks, blossoming shrubs, graceful willows, and lotus ponds had become fairly standard environments for late twelfth- to thirteenth-century scenes of palace ladies as well as of playing children.
One Hundred Children at Play

One Hundred Children at Play


Su Hanchen, Wang Juzhen

(Chinese, active c. 1101–1125), (Chinese)
China, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)

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