Heroes from The Water Margin

The Water Margin, known variously as Outlaws of the Marsh, All Men Are Brothers, and Suikoden in Japan, is one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. The novel, written in the 14th century, is developed from folklores and dramas based on historical records from the 11th century about the rebellion of a group of outlaws gathered in Liangshan Marsh. The story continues to be one of the most popular subjects in drama, film, video games, and various other media.

Shi Dawei, Director of Shanghai Academy of Chinese Painting, is a cartoonist known for his figure painting with brush and ink. 25 characters can be seen on this handscroll, identified through their typical costumes and characteristic weapons, such as the ‘Black Whirlwind’ Li Kui with his pair of axes, the ‘Leopard Head’ Lin Chong with his long spear and bottle gourd, the ‘Tattooed Monk’ Lu Zhishen with his monk’s spade, the ‘Tiger Slayer’ Wu Song in his pilgrim’s outfit, and the ‘Thunderbolt’ Qin Ming with his wolf-toothed mace.


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