This painting shows an itinerant doctor in the process of treating a patient, who screams in pain as the doctor applies the traditional method of moxibustion to burn wormwood and draw out pus. Through the clever arrangement of the artist, every person here plays an outstanding role.
The drapery lines of the figures in this work were rendered using a centered brush to make fine yet powerful strokes in a technique known as “nail-head, rat-tail” lines, which aptly describe the coarse clothing of common folk in the countryside. The exaggerated and almost comical expressions and gestures of the figures present a facet of rural life to our eyes, the brushwork and coloring here following in the style of naturalism practiced in the Song dynasty. This is a masterpiece of realistic genre painting from the Painting Academy of the Southern Song court.(20101015)