Bamboo, Rocks and Lonely Orchids



Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫

(Chinese, 1254–1322)
Mounted: 52.4 x 1337.7 cm (20 5/8 x 526 5/8 in.); Image: 50.9 x 147.8 cm (20 1/16 x 58 3/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

One of the many inscriptions records that the handscroll was last remounted by Xu Shudong 徐曙東 of Jiaxing 嘉興 in 1802.


Bamboo and orchids are motifs associated with the virtues of the scholar-official. Bamboo that bends but does not break stands for moral integrity, endurance, and loyalty. Wild, fragrant orchids that bloom in the shadow symbolize modesty and the aura of learnedness. Rocks are often considered to be miniature versions of mountains that form the universe. This monochrome ink painting is brushed on paper in a masterfully calligraphic manner. While the rocks are delineated in chalky, dry strokes showing the effect of flying white (feibai), the bamboo and orchids are drawn with a swift brush demonstrating the virtuosity of the artist.
Bamboo, Rocks and Lonely Orchids

Bamboo, Rocks and Lonely Orchids


Zhao Mengfu

(Chinese, 1254–1322)
China, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)

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