Tea Party at Tang Court

Guxiuzhai Art Workshop



Court ladies sit around a square table, enjoying music while sipping tea. A maid stands beside the table, gently swaying a round fan. Among these ladies, some are tasting tea, some others are playing wine games, while the four in middle are playing instruments, namely, bili (筚篥), pipa (琶琶), guzheng (古筝) and sheng (笙), from right to left, to add to the fun. One of the standing maids is playing bamboo clappers to add to the rhythm. On the center of the table sits a tea pot, from which the lady on the right is ladling the tea soup into her cup. The lady to her left holding a tea cup in the right hand seems to be too attracted to the music to continue the drinking. And opposite to this lady is the one enjoying the tea intently, even the maid behind her rushes to hold her arm in case the lady gets intoxicated.
All the women in this work have been portrayed in a faithful lifelike fashion, ending up with various but equally vivid expressions and gestures. The color palette is beautiful and gentle, created by meticulous multi-layer coloring on the rouge-applied cheeks of the ladies, their vermilion dresses, decorative shawls, etc. Even the varied details of ornamental patterns on the garments are clearly seen thanks to the ingenious coloring technique. These curvaceous ladies in sumptuous attire are so vivid that they seem to have brought the viewers to the tea party back in the Tang court.

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  • Title: Tea Party at Tang Court
  • Creator: Guxiuzhai Art Workshop
  • Type: Suzhou embroidery
  • Physical dimensions: 48.5 cm x 70 cm
  • Location: Suzhou
  • Date: 2014