Greeting the Spring

Greeting the Spring



Wu Bin 吳彬

(Chinese, active c. 1591-1626)

Handscroll, ink and light color on paper

Image: 34.3 x 252.8 cm (13 1/2 x 99 1/2 in.); Overall: 35 x 1022.2 cm (13 3/4 x 402 7/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1959.45



This masterfully composed landscape in light colors and delicate brushwork is an image of the water-rich Jiangnan region in southeast China, where Wu Bin was active as an artist. Embedded in rolling hills along lakesides and streams nestle cityscapes hosting numerous spring festivities. Lantern displays and street performances in the villages salute the New Year, and are interwoven with scenes of farming, fishing, and silk making. In one scene in the middle ground, an ox made of clay under a canopy is lead in a procession to an architectural compound, a ceremony known as “whipping the spring ox” in hope for a good harvest. This handscroll bears five collector seals by the Qianlong emperor indicating his appreciation for the painting.

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