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14) Attributed to Emperor Sung Hui-tsung (1082-1135 ruled 1101-1125). Court Ladies Preparing Silk. Handscroll; ink and color on silk. After original by Chang Hsüan ~ ~f, an eighth-century Tang Court painter. Detail of handscroll. Ink and color on silk. Another subject matter of Court painting, after official portraits, was the pleasure of Court life. Here a group of courtesans and their servants are shown in the process of preparing silk. The scroll begins at the right and progresses leftward, showing each stage of silk production. A close examination shows the highly intricate detail of the representation. Such close, detailed work required considerable amounts of time (and money) for their execution; and such scrolls were a luxury affordable to the very rich. Once again, as in No. 13 above, the lack of background serves to focus attention on the figures, their work, and their relationship to each Other.

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