Once upon a time, comic books, which were popular all over the country in the last century, quietly killed a gun and became a new favorite of nostalgia. Search “comic books” on Taobao and tmall, and there are 360000 “treasures”; The search for “comic strip” on Baidu yielded 2.47 million results.
In antique bookstores, an original comic book of more than 20 years ago can be sold at an “antique” price. However, modern people don’t like reading comic books. The old Buddha of the Qing Dynasty also loved reading comic books. The comic book Liaozhai Tu Shuo in the National Museum is her treasure in those days.
On her 60th birthday, Cixi’s only favorite gift
Don’t think that the old Buddha will only tell the minister about military aircraft affairs with a straight face all day. In the next Dynasty, she, like us, also needs recreation. Reading comic books is one of her pastimes. “Liaozhai illustrated stories” collected in the National Museum of China is a set of comic books given to the old Buddha by XuRun, a red top businessman in the Qing Dynasty. This is based on Pusongling’s strange tales from a lonely studio.
In 1894, on the 60th birthday of Cixi, she held a celebration in the summer palace and received the congratulations of all officials of the imperial court. In the face of the antique treasures presented by various officials, Cixi no longer felt fresh. Only a set of comic strips of “Liaozhai Tu Shuo” in the gift list made her feel very interesting, so she asked people to take a look at them. When she saw the beautifully framed and illustrated Liao Zhai Tu Shuo, she loved it very much.
According to expert research, “Liaozhai Tu Shuo” was painted by a famous painter at that time organized by XuRun, a businessman in the Qing Dynasty. XuRun, a famous Hongding businessman in the late Qing Dynasty, was originally named xuyizhang and was born in Xiangshan County (now Zhuhai City), Guangdong Province. During the reign of Xianfeng, he went to Shanghai with his uncle to do business.
In the 1860s, XuRun started as a tea house, later founded a water insurance company, and set foot in the publishing industry. In 1881, he and his younger brother xuhongfu set up Tongwen book company in Shanghai. At the order of the imperial court, he printed 100 books of “inner court biography”, including Kangxi dictionary, essence of Zi history, peiwenzhai calligraphy and painting manual, Yi Jin Jing, etc.
At the 60th birthday of Cixi, he heard that Cixi liked to read strange stories in Liaozhai, so he called together famous painters at that time to draw this set of Liaozhai pictures.
In 1900, the Allied forces of the eight powers invaded China, and Liaozhai tushuo was looted by the Russian army. It was not until 1957, when ZhengZhenduo, then Minister of culture, visited the Soviet Union that the Soviet government promised to return Liaozhai Tu Shuo to China.
Liao Zhai Tu Shuo was originally 48 volumes, but now 46 volumes exist. The album is a folding edition, with brocade mounted on the front and back covers, which is very exquisite. There are 420 Liaozhai stories in the book. The drawing of each story can be as few as 1 page and as many as 5 pages. More than one page of drawing with one page of text.
The words are poems and stories. For example, the poem of eunuch Niang reads: “I have met with amorous feelings because of sheltering from the rain, but I failed to get married; I played a song in the dead of night, and the marriage was secretly managed.” The poem was followed by the story of a scholar surnamed Wen who ran into an eunuch because he was sheltering from the rain. Beside the words, there are colorful pictures.
In this way, each page is marked with a poem, a story and a painting, with pictures and texts, vivid and vivid, and the content of each Liaozhai story is clear at a glance.
The artistic level of Liaozhai Tu Shuo is very high
Among the numerous paintings, Liaozhai Tu Shuo collected by the National Museum has exquisite strokes, gorgeous colors, vivid descriptions and high artistic standards.
In Liaozhaizhiyi, Pusongling pays special attention to the description of characters’ personalities. “Liaozhai Tu Shuo” also has such artistic charm. For example, Yinning in the picture is more vivid, concrete and vivid than Yinning in Pusongling’s words, whether climbing a tree or riding a horse.
Liao Zhai Tu Shuo also enriched and developed the content of the original Liao Zhai Zhi Yi. For example, in the grocery store section of a Xiu, the original book only wrote that when Liu Zigu went to his uncle’s house, he saw a very beautiful woman in the grocery store and secretly liked her, so he went to the grocery store under the guise of buying a fan and accosted the girl. As for the specific furnishings in the grocery store, the article did not mention anything.
However, in Liao Zhai Tu Shuo, you can see the grocery store run by ah Xiu. The shop facade and details of such an image in the drawing can only be drawn one by one with the creator’s careful observation of life.
In the composition of the picture, “Liaozhai Tu Shuo” is also very particular. For example, in the painting “painted skin”, a beautiful human skin is spread on the bed in the middle of the picture. A fierce ghost with green body is painting on human skin, which is very dramatic. Looking closely at the furnishings in the study, they are all real household furnishings in life. There are several tables, embroidered piers, sitting on the couch, calligraphy and painting scrolls, and water stone bonsai. Their style and texture are meticulous.
The chivalrous and tender ruby, the innocent and kind Yinning, the gentle and affectionate fox woman… These legendary women who are loved in the original work and represent the truth, goodness and beauty can be seen one by one in Liao Zhai Tu Shuo. In Liao Zhai Tu Shuo, you can also see the fierce woman Jiangcheng who chases and beats her husband in Jiangcheng, and the evil daughter-in-law Yin who mistreats her father-in-law in Ma Jiefu.
Ji Yun, a scholar in the Qing Dynasty, once said that “strange stories from a Liaozhai” is “a book with two styles”, which contains both legends and anecdotes. Liaozhai Tu Shuo also shows these wonderful contents. The vivid pictures revive the wonderful words in the original work for readers, and let people see the magical imagination of the illustrator.