The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

Stamps & Banknotes


Schwartz (2014) remarks "We have here a portrait, not of a leader or a historical or legendary figure, but of two characteristic citizens—a worker and peasant idealized in their pose, albeit with individual physiognomies. In China, numismatic portraits of any sort are a recent innovation....realistic portraits of any sort are rare before the appearance of Sun Yat-sen’s portrait on Republican banknotes in 1923.5 Otherwise, landscapes, government buildings, and monuments are the usual images sharing pictorial fields on money cluttered with the ramified ornamentation and lettering of nineteenth-century steel engraving styles."
and he continues "Yet its demotic subject matter participates in a program depicting symmetry in agricultural and industrial production that governs the entire series and is carried through on other notes with landscapes that include factories and shepherds, weavers and irrigation procedures, trains and bridges, electrification projects, railway stations, and harrowing, threshing and fertilization scenes. On the formal side, most of these landscapes share with the worker-and-peasant two-shot a characteristically Socialist Realist deployment of heroic foreshortening and utopian out-of-frame space:... "

Schwartz (2014). Pages 9-10 [↩] [Cite]
Schwartz (2014). Page 15 [↩] [Cite]