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The artist added his own inscription of the poem “The Lady of the River Xiang” (Xiang furen) to the painting. He notes that he produced this work in the western suburbs of Chongqing. Four seals on the work serve as additional signatures; they are a square seal with “Fu” (the artist’s surname) in relief, which shows the characters in vermillion ink; a square seal with “Seal of Fu Baoshi” (Fu Baoshi yin) in intaglio, which shows the characters outlined by vermillion ink; a square seal with “Favorite Work of Baoshi” (Baoshi dexin zhi zuo) in relief; and a rectangular seal with “Frequently after Becoming Intoxicated” (Wangwang zuihou) in relief.
The Lady of the River Xiang in this work has a smooth, broad face with beautiful features. She has an elegant disposition but seems to betray concealed bitterness. With the appearance of flowing water, the sashes and drapery of her garments flutter in the wind and harmonize with the contours of her attire as a whole. Some commentators believe that the women in Fu Baoshi’s paintings have a noble appearance with a clear Tang-dynasty (618–907) style that shows voluptuousness and elegance.
The Palace Museum received this work as a donation from Fu Baoshi’s wife Luo Shihui.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying