"Zheng He and the Great Treasure Fleet"

by Michael Boss
Casein on Rag Board
20" X 30"
From a private collection

Wrapping one's mind around the idea that the big treasure fleet Baochuans were possibly 400 to 450 feet in length can be a bit mind boggling! With hours upon hours of research on little existing information, one has to make a best guess on how the ships looked. Pouring over Ming Dynasty drawings one constant was found. Each drawing of the period junks seemed to indicate the sails as square-rigged, and not the typical Chinese lug sail.

Research uncovered that the big ships had nine masts and twelve sails. I chose period Chinese red for the sails. Whatever the outcome of other's research, I enjoyed putting my painting out there.

More information about this very interesting time in history can be found on the 1421 The Year China Discovered the World website. The link to the Gallery page on the site is http://www.gavinmenzies.net/china/gallery/mike-boss-artist-gallery/