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August 22, 2013

Paintings with Auspicious Symbols IV - Umbrellas

This painting "Dreaming Beneath Umbrellas" is a contemporary interpretation on this classic Chinese Feng Shui symbol of protection.

(Please click the image to enlarge)

Chinese umbrellas are the earliest known umbrellas used, and have existed for over 2,000 years, where they subsequently spread across Asia. In the beginning, Chinese umbrellas were made of silk, and later paper umbrellas were created. The first waterproof umbrella Oil-paper umbrella (Chinese: 油紙傘) and the first collapsible umbrella were originated from China. Eventually, paper parasols came to be associated with nobility and other high ranking officials.

According to legend, at one time, 24 paper umbrellas were carried before the Emperor to protect him from the sun while hunting. The frames of most umbrellas in China were and are made from bamboo or mulberry bark, for protecting people from rain as well as sunlight. Some of them were painted too. In old days, the royal families typically carried red or yellow umbrellas while the common people would carry blue ones.


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