One of the best-known Chinese paintings of all time depicts the Song dynasty capital Bianjing (today’s Kaifeng) during the springtime Cleaning of the Graves Festival (Qingmingjie). Other cities were later depicted in similar manner – here we can see the city of Suzhou in Southern China, famous for its gardens. The axis of the entire scene is the river, which meanders through the town’s outskirts, then winds toward town under a bridge and heads for the fortifications and palaces beyond. The river and its banks, as well as the shops and palaces behind the gates, swarm with some 1,500 figures engaged in day-to-day activities. The artist has left us with a fascinating and skilfully executed document of the life of a Chinese town hundreds of years ago.