The Auspicious Crane Painting


Watercolor 11” x 7.5″ No Frame

“The Auspicious Crane Painting” is one of the few surviving original paintings by Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty, Zhao Ji. This painting depicts twenty red-crowned cranes flying and standing above the Xuanwu Gate of Bianliang (present-day Zhengzhou).


In the sixteenth day of the first month of the second year of the Zhenghe era in the Northern Song Dynasty (corresponding to February 22, 1112 in the Gregorian calendar), the sky above Bianjing was filled with dense clouds, and a group of cranes gathered above the city gate. They remained there for a long time, repeatedly calling out, before eventually flying towards the northwest. Emperor Huizong regarded this phenomenon as an auspicious sign, and thus created this artwork.

Although this time was not the normal migration period for red-crowned cranes, it is possible that Emperor Huizong deliberately arranged it to celebrate the Lantern Festival. Emperor Huizong had a strong affinity for cranes, and during his reign, the imperial city experienced at least seven “auspicious crane” events.

This is the reproduction of The Auspicious Crane Painting.

The Auspicious Crane Painting
The Auspicious Crane Painting by Fan Stanbrough

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