Plum Blossom

Chen Lu – section of Plum Blossoms in Moonlight, (Berlin)

Ink Plum – momei – is an important genre of Chinese Brush Painting, which flourished from the Song dynasty onwards.

Plum  blossom (mei hua, prunus mume) is one of the Four Gentlemen, and one of the Three Friends of Winter.   It symbolises winter and virginity, as well as strength, fortitude, virtue, and venerable old age.  It is associated with poetry and learning.  In addition, the 5 petals of the blossom represent the Five Blessings (longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, and a peaceful death).

Plum blossom is usually painted in ink, with twisting old branches and fresh twigs, though the blossoms may also be painted in red or pink.

Notable painters of plum blossom include:

Links & videos:

There are many introductory books for plum blossom.  This is a really useful detailed analysis of famous plum blossom paintings, which I got from Oriental Arts.

© Angela Reich 2021