Ink Plum


late 1400s–early 1500s

Peng Xu 彭勖

(Chinese, active 1488–1521)
Painting: 127.2 x 66.8 cm (50 1/16 x 26 5/16 in.); Overall with knobs: 218.8 x 75.3 cm (86 1/8 x 29 5/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Plum trees blossom in the first months of the year; the delicate flowers endure the harsh winter frosts. A popular motif in Chinese ink painting, the plum symbolizes the winter season and is a harbinger of spring.


Seasonal paintings, including those depicting flowering plum trees in early spring, furnished scholars’ studios or other interior spaces in the house.

Peng Xu is considered the foremost follower of the famous plum blossom painter Wang Mian (1287–1359) (see CMA 1974.26). The branches are brushed in the same vigorous manner leaving white streaks in the ink indicating the gnarled bark. The delicate blossoms are drawn in fine lines, while a gray wash covers the entire surface, only leaving the flower petals in reserve.
Ink Plum

Ink Plum

late 1400s–early 1500s

Peng Xu

(Chinese, active 1488–1521)
China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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