(Chinese, second half of the 1300s)
Handscroll, ink on paper
Overall: 31.8 x 153.2 cm (12 1/2 x 60 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1967.36
This handscroll is a very rare example of ink flowers in the linear baimiao style of the fourteenth century.
Zhao Zhong's flowers, each paired with a poem, echo the fine-style colored flowers of the academic tradition, but instead he used only ink. Fine lines define the contours of each plant, as well as the veins within each petal and leaf. Careful ink washes give subtle modeling to the forms.
The combination of lily, narcissus, and peony is unusual as the three belong to no known seasonal or symbolic system popular in the fourteenth century. Zhao’s medical training may have influenced the selection. Powdered lilies, for example, were prescribed to dispel grief, while the bark of tree peony roots was used as a treatment for various blood disorders.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.