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Bamboo, Rocks and Lonely Orchids

Bamboo, Rocks and Lonely Orchids

竹石幽蘭圖

1271–1368

Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫

(Chinese, 1254–1322)

Handscroll; ink on paper

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.)

John L. Severance Fund by exchange 1963.515

Location

Description

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.

See also
Collection: 
ASIAN - Handscroll
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Painting

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