The Fox Fairy

Xu Lele is a figure painter who takes her subjects from popular literature. These two paintings depict the fox fairy, subject of a Tang dynasty short story about a beautiful young seductress who is actually a fox fairy in disguise. Having found a faithful lover, the fox fairy is eventually torn apart by hounds. In the Qing period, the fox fairy remained a major subject of love stories, such as those in Strange Tales of a Scholar’s Studio.

This painting and its pair [EA1995.270] are unusual in that they have been framed in pencil, and the calligraphy and seals fall outside the main composition. Gold-flecked papers, either plain or coloured, have been used in Chinese art for many centuries.

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    Xu Lele is a figure painter who takes her subjects from popular literature. These two paintings [EA1995.269, EA1995.270] depict the Fox Fairy, subject of a Tang short story about a beautiful young seductress who is really a fox fairy in disguise, and having found a faithful lover is eventually torn apart by hounds.

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