During the reigns of Emperor Jiaqing and Emperor Daoguang in the Qing dynasty (1644-1912 AD), a man of letters named Bao Jun born in Yangzhou of China’s Jiangnan area created a distinctive form of art later known as “cut-paper painting by Bao Jun”, which features diverse themes including landscapes, figures, birds & flowers, insects & fish, etc. based on his integration of paper-cutting and painting. The techniques of Bao’s “cut-paper painting” have unfortunately been lost, as neither artists like Bao nor artworks similar to those of Bao’s have appeared ever since.
Marking an important stage in the development of the Yangzhou paper-cut art, the unique “cut-paper painting by Bao Jun” counts as the masterpiece of the literati paper-cuts for that it has not only inherited the literati characters of the preceding paper cut-outs by Bao Zhuangxing, but also integrated multiple art forms including poetry, calligraphy, painting, printing, cutting and pasting.
The existing pieces of Bao Jun’s cut-paper painting serve as the best testimony to his art. This series is now housed in Zhenjiang Museum.