This is one of the set of 4 paintings that are very rare with two characeteristics that make them unique.
First, the blue background is seen only in a handful of Yao ceremonial paintings. These are highly prized finds for their rarity as well as their aesthetic value.
Second, the painting style is very unique - there are characters on a plain background without any embellishment of the background. These are works of 'naive' art. It could be that he had not yet come within the folds of influence of the styles that were popular elsewhere and his personal style remained uncorrupted by the 'popular' view. As a result the artist we see the stamp of his own soul on the painting, rather than just that of his ethnic group. And it is this soul-stamp that makes this set of 4 pieces extremely charming.
Subject: Daoist Painting of the Goddess of Fertility
In the Daoist pantheon, this is the Goddess of Fertility who gives women children. This deity is surrounded by babies and a large womb appears below her. Others represent midwives who assist this goddess. There are twelve principal midwives, each representing a month on the calendar. This is the work of the Tay, Nung or San Diu groups of Vietnam.
Note the very very unique painting style in which characters have been created within the womb!
There is an inscription on the side.
There is fading and some wear and tear
26.5 x 12 inches.
Estimated to be from the id 1900s