Yuan Yuan’s subjects are mainly interiors, some once very grand such as great halls with neo-classical arches and balconies. These are based on real places, with some imaginary elements added, as he wishes to impose his own system of design. His compositions are highly structured and orderly, dictated by the geometric details of the architecture depicted. What sets Yuan Yuan’s paintings apart is the incredible detail with which he describes every individual surface within the composition. At the same time as describing in microscopic detail every element in a scene, Yuan Yuan also conveys a sense of passing time. This may be an entire room, or a detail of a building such as a row of doors, a horizontal view of one floor of an apartment block, or a Gothic stained glass window.
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