Status of Original Painting – Private Collection
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 13.25 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
Here is a view of the Great Wall of China, taken from a reference photo I took during a trip in 2010. This is a section in Jinshanling, about two hours away by car from Beijing. The wall here is relatively untouched and uncrowded, which makes it a delight to visit and photograph. Most tourists go to Badaling, where the Wall has been completely rebuilt to become somewhat Disney-fied, and the crowds can be packed shoulder-to-shoulder.
Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the initial building of the Great Wall around 221 BC, and it took a millennium to build. The work force was largely soldiers and convicts. An estimated 400,000 people died during the construction and were buried within the wall. Ground up human bones were reputedly used for mortar.
With these facts in mind, while I was painting this, Esther Mooney said that I needed to somehow capture the aspect of hundreds of thousands of bodies in the wall. And Lisa Dawe in turn suggested a title that evoked it just perfectly. My thanks to both of them because that title really completes this painting.