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Old Pine Tree

Old Pine Tree

late 1530s

Wen Zhengming

(Chinese, 1470-1559)

Handscroll, ink on paper

Overall: 29.8 cm (11 3/4 in.); Painting only: 27.3 x 138.8 cm (10 3/4 x 54 5/8 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1964.43

Description

Here the natural appearance of a gnarled and vine-entangled pine has been transformed into a rhythmic abstraction of brushstrokes and ink tonalities, with unifying opposites—opening and closing, rising and falling—that provide the design across the horizontal scroll. The artist's inscription reads: "The force of change beyond restraint; / The dragon's whiskers are likened to a forest of spears."

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