Yang Wenqing (Chinese, B. 1951) "Year of the Rabbit" Signed lower middle. Mixed Media on Rice Paper.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting originally appeared on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the 33c The Year of the Hare Lunar New Year Series stamp issued January 5, 1999.
Dating back to the 27th C. B.C., the Chinese calendar is a combination of symbolism and mathematical complexities. Twelve animals are associated with the calendar -- the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, serpent, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220), the Chinese calendar was organized into repeating 12 year cycles, with each year designated by 1 of the 12 animals. The Chinese commonly refer to the year by its animal name -- 1999 is the Year of the Rabbit. Those born in a given year are said to share that animal's character traits. Legend has it that when Lord Buddha departed from Earth, all the animals were summoned to bid him farewell. Twelve animals showed up and the rabbit was fourth in line. Thus, people born during the Year of the Rabbit -- 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999 -- are not only affectionate, they're also sentimental, cautious, forgiving and successful in business. Used concurrently with the Western calendar (Gregorian), the Chinese calendar is considered to be yin-yang li, a "lunar-solar calendar." Since the 12 months of the Chinese calendar contain only 29 or 30 days each, the year does not add up to the 365 days of a solar year. To compensate, a double month is added every 30 months. The Chinese year begins with the second new moon after the winter solstice, sometime between January 21 and February 20. New Year's Day is a time of great celebration and is the most important day in the Chinese calendar.
Image Size: 14 x 11.75 in.
Overall Size: 14.5 x 12.5 in.
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