Female painters in late imperial era

Qiu Zhu

Updated: Mar 5, 2020 Print
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Qiu Zhu was the daughter of Qiu Ying (ca. 1505-52), an influential painting master of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Her birth and death years are unknown. Originally from Taicang of East China’s Jiangsu province, she migrated to Wujun prefecture (today’s Suzhou of Jiangsu province) with her father. From a young age, the astute daughter often watched her father paint. Human figure paintings make up the lion’s share of her works, while landscapes and pavilions are supplementary subjects and often serve as backgrounds for human figures. She excelled at narrative scenes and portraits of Buddhist deities. Regrettably, very few of her works have survived.

Qiu Zhu’s painting of noble women performing music [Photo/]

Women perform music
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 125.8×85.5 cm
Collection of the Palace Museum
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The painting is executed with fine lines and rich colors. It depicts noble women playing musical instruments on a carpet in front of a palatial building, and reveals their joyful state of mind over noble recreational activities.

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