(Chinese, active before 1274-after 1329)
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Painting: 77.6 x 45.7 cm (30 9/16 x 18 in.); Overall with knobs: 209.5 x 75.5 cm (82 1/2 x 29 3/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1953.246
Bamboo, pine, and plum, often referred to as the "three friends of winter," are popular motifs in Chinese literati art.
Bamboo is an evergreen plant that does not break under the weight of snow or the force of the wind, and thus became a favorite motif in literati painting and Chan Buddhism as a metaphor for the virtue of not yielding to worldly temptations.
Xuechuang, also known as monk Puming, was a native of Songjiang, near Shanghai, who spent his life as a monk in Suzhou. In 1338, he presided over Yunyan temple on Tiger Hill. Here, he masterfully depicts a bamboo gently bent in a subtle breeze. Puming’s paintings were revered in Japan and Korea.
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