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The Four Beauties by luciole The Four Beauties by luciole
The Four Beauties by luciole (print image)


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The legendary four beauties of ancient China. They have a very rich history and legend behind them, which I try to honor while giving them my own take.

From left:
From left:
Xi Shi | The king of Yue searched his lands for a beauty, and Xi Shi, the extraordinarily beautiful daughter of a humble tea trader was favored. The king trained her in espionage and court etiquette and sent her, richly dressed, to the prince of the Kingdom of Wu as a tribute gift. The prince was so charmed by her bewitching that he neglected his kingdom. Easily, the King of Yue invaded during the political chaos and overtook the kingdom of Wu. The prince committed suicide and Xi Shi lived happily ever after with her lover, the minister Fan Li.
She's said to be so beautiful that when she was washing silk by the river, the fish was so entranced by her beauty that they forgot to swim and drowned.

Wang Zhaojun | Emperor Yuan used painted portraits to choose his concubines, so naturally, the ladies bribed the court painter to make each of their portraits more flattering. Wang Zhaojun was confident in her beauty and refused to bribe him, and in anger, the artist painted her terribly. One day, the emperor wanted to send one of his court ladies to the Huns as a political bride, and based on her misleading portrait, Wang Zhaojun was chosen. When she sadly turned to go, Emperor Yuan saw her face and realized that she's actually the most beautiful in his court. But it's too late.. as the luckless beauty walked out of the palace into the winter day, a flock of birds flying overhead was so struck by her selflessness and gorgeousness that they forgot to fly and fell to their deaths. Emperor Yuan put the dishonest court painter to death, but Wang Zhaojun never returned to her homeland.

Diaochan | Diaochan, a gentle, loyal maid, helped orchestrate a war between two warlords and ended the rule of a tyrant using her charm. Unfortunately, she was eventually put to death by the tyrant's cronies. The legend goes that one autumn night as she was worshiping the moon, the moon was so awed by her beauty that it hid behind some clouds out of shame.

Yang Guifei | Yang Guifei was a high ranking, privileged beauty, and the Emperor Xuanzong was so in love with her that he neglected his state affairs and indulged in their pleasures, feasting and drinking all day long. The legend goes that she's so beautiful, the spring flowers would refuse to bloom out of embarrassment. Yang Guifei also loves to take baths, and the Emperor built lavish, splendid lakes and baths for her. One day, a rebellion was staged and the Emperor fled the palace with Yang Guifei, but his soldiers refused to go on and demanded the death of the beauty, whom they believe had ruined the country. Towards the end, Yang Guifei killed herself to save the king.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-11-02
The Four Beauties by *luciole is an image that really shines through showing the artists' true talents. Its breathtakingly beautiful and in harmony with each character. ( Suggested by MalaTea and Featured by cosmosue )
marloesnes Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How do you get the skin so smooth? 
Butch007 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015
I know you're probably not on here much since most people that have been members for more than 5 or 6 years aren't, but I was wondering if you paint in Index color mode when using Photoshop to achieve such smooth gradation?
scorpiov Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Beautiful. And the accompanied stories give the work more depth :)
greatyu Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
IT was fascinating to read the stories and to gaze at their faces at the same time! ^^
Thanks for the tale! :D 
CaoChiNhan Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Lumengj7ie Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
nice!!!!! thank you !!!!!  Gave me creative
A good idea
ImaniArt Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
soooo beautifull
xenomitez Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013
Wow~fantastic art work~~~ i like it
Maisa5 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
Nicktory Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very lovely, you have talent that's for sure.
LmonLimeCat Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I like the Yang Guifei one
profutur1971 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
Beautiful image! Beauty, originality and charmed ! Good job ![link]
Annypinup Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
Sulov Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
all r cute....
canpassion Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
:clap: Enchanting... :love: :heart: :)
MoonlitViolins Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OOH~ Gorgeous! I remember my mom telling me these stories when I was younger, and last year in Chinese school. Each picture matches the person PERFECTLY~
I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to offer some criticism. Their noses are a bit too pointy and small, so it gives them a bit of a caucasian look. Asians have round and flat, rather big noses XD

Although, it's VERY beautiful
CrystalfrostFa Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Why do Asian have round,flat,rather big noses? The noses in the painting look quite normal.
arrowzee Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love Wang Zhaojun's expression. It perfectly portrays her story.
MasterOtakuSama Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
I love that story. and the art as well. I'm ethnically Chinese but i don't really know much of my heritage nor can I speak it Though when i was young i could and i remember my great grandma telling me stories like these and I loved them so much. Thank you luciole. You just made my day.

whendt Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
great digital painting
hinata-hayuga1999 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The storys are very inspiring and fascinating, and the pictures really capture the characters
FuaFua-channel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012
Mangatellers Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Amazing work. All for of them look magnificent. I didn't know a lot about the story of the four Chinese beauties. They look wonderful. Well done! :D
FrancAlmeida Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome and beautiful drawing! I loved !
AgathaKeyguard Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist
Great picture! :) :+fav:
kokomah Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
I'm struck by Wang Zhaojun, more than the rest. The posture, how she holds her head high. Simply beautiful.
luciole Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you :) I wanted to portray how she still has her dignity and pride while she walks out of the palace after being given away by the emperor. Also she looks up so she can see the birds flying overhead :)
lmc234 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
interpretation: flawless =3
landra15 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so beautiful
NoOneWouldListen Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012
amazing work, great interpretation of the characters =)
Teebird2 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
And a magnificent tale to go with the beautiful drawings.
Nads-designs Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
gorgeous!! I love how you described it, and the entire image is fantastIc!
appa-appa-away Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful, and the information you've put in the artist's description is very interesting. Wonderful work!
Midsney Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
such sad stories-but the picture is so beautiful!
UmiHaibara Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
Sooo beauty! :)
JuFro743 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
HOLY SHiT!!!!!!
grafffite Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Artist
I had never heard these stories until now, very intriguing. Wonderful illustrations as well :)
DanniDarkness Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011
Marazul45 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yaereturn Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
the legendary Chinese four beauties
they're so popular in many countries
luciole Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yes they are :)
HonG-t Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah I remember the story of Yang Guifei :D
I read that the legend said that at her grave grew poppies, a color of her blood
I actually think Yang Guifei is my fav in this pic
luciole Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Ooh really? That's a lovely story too.. :)
makthedragon76 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
I can say, i am absolutely blowanway by your 4 beauties. The vibrancy of colours, the softness of the beauties. But i have doubts. Especially Xi Shi and Diao Chan, they should reverse. The facts are right, but you should swith the pics to be correct. and of course the fish and the lanterns.
luciole Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It's difficult to please everyone when the history of a painting is so well known.. everyone has their own versions and interpretations. This is just my own interpretation.
Torako-chan Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is perfect!!!
0krapula0 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Professional General Artist
Hrjust Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011
it's breathtaking!
ShadowIZ Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is amazing. Really love the colours and the way you set the pictures up together : D
KiKiKoy Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
This is definitely my favourite!!!
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Submitted on
October 28, 2008
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