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Bamboo and Pine Trees

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: ink and color on paper
Format: hanging scroll

Artist(s): Yun Shouping (1633-1690)

Dimensions: 135.8 × 61.3 cm

A native of Wujin (today's Changzhou, Jiangsu province), Yun Shouping was an accomplished painter, poet, and calligrapher. His poetry features a refined and graceful style. In terms of calligraphy, he fully grasped the stylistic essence of master calligrapher Chu Suiliang (596-659), whose works feature vigorous and dynamic brush strokes and handsome characters. In his time, his painting, poems, as well as calligraphy all were considered unparalleled. Yun Shouping joined the "Four Wangs" and Wu Li (1632-1718) to be called the "Six Masters of the Early Qing".   
  The pine trees, bamboo, and rocks depicted in this scroll are common themes in scholar-amateur paintings. The painter also inscribed a pentasyllabic quatrain on the upper right corner, in which the second line alludes to Returning Home (Gui qu lai ci) by Tao Yuanming (345-427), an Eastern Jin (317-420) poet noted for living an idyllic pastoral life of farming and drinking. It implies the painter's intention to live as a recluse. The bamboo and pine trees are rendered in an imposing and elegant manner to achieve a crystalline effect, a clear reflection of his calm and leisurely mental state in his late years.

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