Handscroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 22.5 x 687.2 cm (8 7/8 x 270 9/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1980.187
"Seventh Month" is an ancient poem, one of the Odes of Bin, which appears in the classic Shijing (Book of Poetry), an anthology of more than 300 poems, folk songs, and ceremonial hymns that were originally chanted to music. "Seventh Month" describes everyday occupations appropriate to different times of the year-plowing, harvesting, hunting, making clothes, and observing rituals. According to literary tradition, the verses of the Shijing were selected for preservation by the Chinese sage Confucius in the 6th century BC. "Seventh Month" is a valuable source of information on the customs of ancient Chinese farming communities, whose role in a productive and orderly society was highly valued by Confucian philosophers.
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