►Description of the painting
The Arhat by Min Zhen belongs to the pictorial genre of Buddhist figures. In the foreground, with beard and thick hair, the elderly master, a begging bowl in his right hand and a precious cintamani jewel in his left hand. Behind him, a young monk holds a staff. They are shown lifting their heads towards the heavens with a joyful expression on their faces. Above them, on the right, is a dragon flying among the clouds. The artist’s name, Min Zhen and his seal, appear below, to the left of the picture. Min Zhen (1730-?) was a famous artist of the Qing dynasty. A native of Nanchang (Jiangxi), he resided for a period of time at Yangzhou, where he became one of the most representative artists of the celebrated “Yangzhou school”, excelling in the xieyi-style ink painting of people, landscapes, flowers and birds. When painting people, Min Zhen used a large brush, incorporating elements of the draft or grass script (cao shu): the figures’ clothing is produced by a spontaneous movement of the brush, creating a smooth-flowing and natural effect.
►Chinese Art Museum, Parma
The Chinese Art Museum of Parma was founded in 1901, following a donation of Chinese art objects from the Universal Exhibition of Turin (1898). The aim of the museum was, and still is, to promote the knowledge of Chinese culture and its great artistic tradition. Among its collections, the Museum holds ceramics, bronzes, textiles and coins produced in China over thousands of years. To mark the event “Italia in Cina 2006”, the Museum of Parma will restore this important painting by Min Zhen to its original glory so that all enthusiasts of the fascinating Chinese pictorial art may admire it.
►VIVAHOTELS ART IN OUR HEART
VIVAHOTELS ART IN OUR HEART, a Florentine hotel chain, is the only hotel brand which, since 1990, supports international cultural exchanges to favour young national and international talents; the roject involves 76 countries using 8 different alphabets. The company, found its roots in supporting the talent of the youths, in preserving the cultural and artistic heritage which is expressed in the company motto: “ART IN OUR HEART”. VIVAHOTELS ART IN OUR HEART has been supporting the activities of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation since the beginning. The foundation is a non profit organization working for international integration, without competition, respecting every single identity. The VIVAHOTELS (4 and 3 stars) in Florence are: Alexander Novoli, Laurus al Duomo, Fleming Novoli, Capitol Santa Croce, Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio.
►Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, a Florentine non profit organization, which is working for International integration; characterized by the following motto: “For the Peace in the World
among the youths of different countries and their cultures: meeting, knowing and understanding each other to develop the friendship between the people”. In these few words have been synthesized the principals and the aims that support the activity of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, which is using the art, the culture and the science as a “mean of communication” to get people to know better each other, to make people from different countries to communicate and to realize a World where the values of tolerance, understanding, friendship and peace are universally enforced.