It's the simplest things in life that bring us the most joy. This is the sentiment behind the Chinese brush painting, "Auspicious Cranes," by Zhao Ji, the eighth emperor of the Song Dynasty.
In 1112, on the 16th day of the first lunar month, the emperor observed a mass of clouds above the imperial gates, later followed by a group of cranes.
As crowds gathered to witness this event, the emperor decided to paint this gem with ink and color on silk handscroll. Set against a teal blue sky, 18 cranes fly above the palace (two are perched on the roof ridge), bringing good luck, nobility, and peace.