The White Horse General (白馬將軍)

David Leffman Keith Stevens, Three Kingdoms Leave a Comment

Here’s a Chinese deity statue I bought recently, mostly because it once belonged to one of my China mentors, Keith Stevens. We met around 2012 while I was researching The Mercenary Mandarin, a biography of the British adventurer William Mesny; Stevens had written a paper on Mesny years before and provided plenty of pointers about his life. But Stevens’ real …

Empty City Stratagem

David Leffman nianhua, Three Kingdoms, Weifang, woodblock, Woodblock print Leave a Comment

Staying with woodblock prints, here’s one from Weifang, Shandong, a city also known for making traditional Chinese kites. It’s one of the very few I have that’s actually signed (by Zhang Chuanxin). I’d characterise Weifang’s prints as having very fine detail, a distinctive purple-yellow-pink palette, and that strange flooring of parallel lines. Set as a scene in a play, the story …