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Moon festival in Chinese art

Yu Xiaoou
Updated: Aug 28,2014 11:38 AM


Gazing at the Mid-Autumn Moon

Artist: Shangguan Hui

A classical Chinese painting created during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) shows a huge landscape with ancient Chinese people appreciating the mid-autumn moon.



Artist: Qi Baishi (1864-1957)

A painting of osmanthus.

Osmanthus appears in mid-autumn paintings frequently because ancient Chinese people believed that there was a huge verdant osmanthus tree on the moon. Under the intertwined tree branches there was a man named Wu Gang, who was wielding an ax chopping it.


Rabbits and Sweet Osmanthus

Artist: Cui Zifan (1915-2011)

A painting of rabbits and osmanthus under the mid-autumn moon.

Since rabbits are usually related to the Chinese classic legend Chang’e flying to the moon, many paintings about the Mid-Autumn Festival use rabbits to heighten the mid-autumn atmosphere.


Rose Under the Moonlight

Artist: Yang Shanshen (1913-2004)

A painting of roses under the moonlight.

The painting was sold for 1,012,000 HKD at the China Guardian Hong Kong 2014 Spring Auctions.


Autumn Palace Overglaze Decorated Plaque

Artist: Zhong Liansheng (b.1944-)

An overglazed decorated plaque depicting a palace of the Han Dynasty (206BC-AD220) under the autumn moon.

This plaque was sold for 12,420,000 RMB ($2,021,000) at the China Guardian 2012 Spring Auctions.



Artist: Yu Shui (b.1955)

A painting depicting people appreciating the moon together at the Mid-Autumn Festival in ancient China.


Awakened on a Night Boating

Artist: Lu Yanshao (1909-1993)

A painting depicting a scene of a boat floating in the lake by moonlight.


Appreciating the Moon

Artist: Yuan Jiang

A classical Chinese painting of scenery under the mid-autumn moon in ancient China.