The plum blossom is one of the most famous flowers in China and one of the most popular subjects in Chinese paintings. The plum tree is renowned for bursting into a riot of blossoms in the dead of winter. It is a noble and unsullied flower that braves the cold and brings vigor and vitality to the world. Plum Blossom is well known as its purity, strength and modesty. It is one of the famous Chinese traditional flowers.
They are four common subjects in traditional ink and wash painting, belonging to the category of bird painting or flower painting in Chinese art. The “Four Gentlemen”, also called the Four Noble Ones, in Chinese art refer to four plants: the plum, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum.
Zhu Da’s plum blossom paintings dating back four centuries appear as fresh and moist as if they had just been painted. Three or four brushstrokes describe aptly the special relationship between blossoms and branches, the four plum buds done with robust lines vibrate with life. The simple and spare composition comprises just the blossoms, the inscription and the seals, leaving large swaths of blank space and room for untrammeled imagination.