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Moon Fairy Chang'e & Moon Rabbit - Watercolor & Prismacolor Pencil Painting Dimensions -12" X 16"

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An ancient Chinese story tells of the beautiful fairy Chang’e, who stole her husband HouYi’s Potion of Immortality—it was given to him by the gods to reward him for shooting down the 10 suns—Chang’e longed for it and decided to steal it but upon drinking it herself, she discovered the gods had rendered her weightless, flying her to the Moon to live there forever as punishment. She is the Lady in the Moon, seduction, lovely, ever young, yet lonely for her beloved. She is not alone though, for there also dwells the Moon Rabbit, also called Jade Rabbit or Grandfather Rabbit, Tu Yer, who is a master of herbal medicines; he lives there with her, always pounding herbs, roots and flowers in his mortar, to cure the ills of mankind. The phases of the moon are caused by the great osmanthus tree—as the tree grows larger, the moon appears smaller and smaller, until it is cut down by Wu Gang (represented here by his ax), who is condemned to his side of the moon to each month cut down the great, leafy tree so we can have a Full Moon.

The poem in the upper left is by the Zhou dynasty poet Li ShangYin:
“Now that a candle-shadow stands on the screen of carven marble,
and the River of Heaven slants and the morning stars are low?
Are you sorry for having stolen the potion that has set you,
over jade seas and blue skies, to brood through the long nights?”


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