Collection Online
Rocks and flowers
ink and colour on paper
69.5 × 30.3 cm (image) (painting) 30.5 × 34.0 cm (image) (calligraphy)
Place/s of Execution
(painting) inscribed in ink (in Chinese characters) u.l.:
stamped in red ink (in Chinese characters) u.l.:
stamped in red ink (in Chinese characters) u.l.: 瑶笙
(calligraphy) inscribed in ink (in Chinese characters) l.l.:
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1974
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
In the painting by CHENG Zhang, plum blossoms and narcissus which blossom at the end of winter are regarded as the messengers of spring, and peony, flower of spring are depicted. The rock and flowers are painted in the style of CHENG’s teacher, WU Changshuo who created a modern style of Chinese painting. The rich colourings of the peony, prunus and narcissus and the rock show the influence of Western oil painting and watercolours. They are also rendered in the traditional Chinese techniques of strong and vital calligraphic brushstrokes. We also find very subtle shadings of colours. The colophon by WU Changshuo is written in expressive poetry and WU’s unique style of lean bony calligraphy.