Original: GU Hongzhong (Southern Tang Dynasty)
Embroidery: Lu Jianying Embroidery Studio, Suzhou
Dimension: 30×1143 cm
It is said that LI Yu, the Emperor of the Southern Tang, suspected that his Prime Minister HAN Xizai born in the northern realm might be disloyal. Therefore, Li sent a court painter to sneak into the Minister’s residence to stealthily check for any sign of high treason. Han’s gloomy look possibly due to the cold shoulder of the Emperor, or his debauchery at night revel with friends and musicians out of deception to his Emperor perhaps, was observed by heart and documented by the painter.
Night Revels of Han Xizai is a long scroll horizontally. Starting from the right end, there are five sections, music listening, dance watching, rest taking, wind instrument performance, and end of the banquet. Each scene is separated from one another with screens or curtains in between. One may picture that as viewer scrolls the picture scroll and views the painting scene by scene, time goes by bit by bit as well. The work was embroidered by Lu Jianying Embroidery Studio, Suzhou that exceled at antique painting embroidery, which is identical to the original work.