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    Knick-knack Peddler and Children Playing


    Artist: Song Dynasty
    Dynasty: Su Han-chen (fl. mid-12th c.)
    Dimension: National Palace Museum
    Conllection: Dimensions: 158.3 x 108.1 cm
    Type: Hanging scroll

    Su Han-chen was a native of Kai-feng, Honan, who specialized in painting Buddhist and Taoist figures. During the Hsuan-ho era (1119-1125) under Emperor Hui-tsung of the Northern Song, he was a Painter-in-Attendance at the imperial academy. After the court moved south, Su resumed his position there, and, in the early Lung-hsing era (1163-1164) of Emperor Hsiao-tsung, he was praised for his Buddhist paintings, earning the title "Gentleman of Trust." In figure painting, the representation of children is recognized as one of the most difficult, especially in achieving that elusive quality of naivete. Su Han-chen was a master of observation and description who knew that children at play are in a state of natural ease. His ability to capture the spirit and appearance of such children made him the most renowned painter in this genre.