Nov 10, 2009
Apr 21, 2010
Apr 20, 2010

Banana Plants


Banana Plants


Part of a set. See all set records

Min Zhen 閔貞

(Chinese, 1730–after 1788)

Album leaf, ink on paper

Sheet: 29 x 18.4 cm (11 7/16 x 7 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1985.71.11

Did you know?

Min Zhen was orphaned at age 12 and developed an eccentric personality,


Min Zhen was trained by Tang Yin (1682–1756), a writer, playwright, and superintendent of the imperial porcelain workshops in Jingdezhen. The connection to him may have enabled Min to stay in Beijing for a decade from around 1773. It is not clear whether he ever resided in Yangzhou, but his style is in many instances reminiscent of that of Yangzhou artist Huang Shen.

This album was painted for his friend Dailili Shanren in exchange for a scholar’s stone. The paintings demonstrate the artist’s versatility and mature style in the last years of his life. While two paintings are rendered in unconventional compositions seen from above (Cat and Butterfly CMA 1985.71.5) and below (Banana Plant CMA 1985.71.11), they have a humorous touch. The banana plant stands for the world of literati but can also allude to Buddhism.

See also
ASIAN - Album leaf
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 

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