Chinese opera

----Beijing Opera

The facial makeup of Beijing Opera is an unique art. Its facial makeup is much more complicated than ordinary dramatic makeup. With a special method, many different colors are painted on the faces of performers. Special colors and patterns are used according to different characteristics and features of people so that the final effects symbolize goodness and evil; love and hatred. Even within each style, different outlines and colors are utilized. The different shapes of faces are also taken into consideration in the process of makeup design. The facial makeup has a history of several hundreds of years. It is generally believed that it was evolved from "Daimian" mask in the Tang Music Dance, and the face-painting skills in Canjun Opera. As early as the 12th or 13th centuries, the image of white powders around the nose was created to show the derogatory personality in Song and Jin operas. The facial makeup skills were greatly developed after the formation of Peking Opera in the early 19th century.


This set of eight stamps shows different type of characters, each with an unique style.

8-1 The Facial Makeup of Meng Liang. Meng Liang was a general under Yang Liulang, a famous patriotic general in the Song Dynasty. The red color here represents his honesty, optimism and righteousness.

8-2 The facial makeup of Li Kui. The facial makeup is painted in black and dark color which shows the character's bravery, boldness, boorishness and fierceness. The red flower beside his ear shows that he was a gallant, uninhibited man like the English Robin Hood.

8-4 The Facial makeup of the Monkey King. Monkey King is the personified monkey in Chinese novel "The Journey to the West". His facial makeup is based on his metamorphosis from the monkey. He is a lively resourceful, mischievous and cute character.

8-5 Lu Zhishen. The eyebrows are painted in the shape of a peacock with smiling lines to the corners, and the mouth and the face are broad, symbolizing that he is broadminded and forthright. The wisdom lines under the eyes show he is also astute and prudent.

8-6 Lian Po. His eyebrows are tightly knitted. The pink color shows he is a warm-hearted person. He is not headstrong as he appears to be but offers humble apology for his wrong deed.

8-7 The facial makeup of Zhang Fei. His is the butterfly Shaped makeup, which shows that he is cheerful, rough yet prudent.

8-8 The facial makeup of Dou Erdun. The makeup is of contrasting bright colors that shows he is rough and brave greenwood hero, but lacks resourcefulness.

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the great wall