Handscroll, ink on paper
Overall: 28 x 438.2 cm (11 x 172 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1959.138
Painted in the baimiao, or fine-line drawing style, this ancient work demonstrates the literati’s use of abstract calligraphic brushwork for self-expression. The subject of the “Nine Songs”—songs associated with shamanistic rituals in the ancient Chu kingdom—had traditionally provided artists with myths and legends that they could explore and reinterpret in their own works.
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