Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Overall: 397.1 x 127.4 cm (156 5/16 x 50 3/16 in.); Painting only: 288.5 x 106.3 cm (113 9/16 x 41 7/8 in.)
Bequest of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1997.100
Shen Zhou, a native from Suzhou, was descended from a prominent land-owning family with strong ties to literati culture. Because Shen Zhou never entered government service, he had ample opportunity to cultivate the arts of painting, poetry, and calligraphy.
Chrysanthemums and red osmanthus both bloom in autumn. The deep orange osmanthus flowers emanate a characteristically sweet fragrance. According to his inscription on the painting, Shen Zhou sought to imitate the style of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) painter Wang Yuan. His color-filled brushstrokes and washes, however, anticipate the flower painting style of Yun Shouping, whose Peonies are also in the Cleveland Museum of Art collection, https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1967.192. The sheer size and complex composition of this scroll are impressive.
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