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Without signature, the painting is affixed with two collectors seals and a label reading “Birds perching on an old tree, painted in the Song dynasty”.
On a branch of an old plum beginning to bloom after snow perch a pair of birds with gorgeous feathers.. The plum tree grows on a river bank. In a reversal of general paintings that depicts birds in a bright spring, this one has a somber and desolate ambience and a very sophisticated composition. Water splashes in the swift river and rocks are covered with snow. The painter depicted the sky with ink, snow with white powder and the stream with smooth outlines. Most unique is the painter’s innovation of wrinkles for the honeycombed rocks that are modeled by the water.
It is pictured in Painting Collection of the Song Dynasty and recorded in Stone Moat Collection of Paintings and Calligraphy Volume Three.