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Bamboo on Slope with Rocks

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Period: Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
Medium: ink on paper
Date: Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
Calligrapher(s): Wu Zhen (1280–1354)

Dimensions: 103.4 cm × 33 cm

This painting features rockery on a gentle slope with branches of bamboo hanging overhead. The poetic inscription on the work describes how it reflects the freedom from restraints and an embrace of expressiveness as inspired by Wen Tong (1018–1079) and Su Shi (1037–1101). The entire painting was accomplished with terse brushwork and with vigor in a generous application of ink. The painted scene is accompanied by the artist’s cursive script inscription in a perfect combination of poetry, calligraphy, and painting.

From Jiaxing in Zhejiang Province, Wu Zhen (1280–1354) also went by the courtesy name (zi) Zhonggui and by the style name (hao) Meihua Daoren. He is one of the “Four Masters of the Yuan Dynasty” and most recognized for his landscapes and ink paintings of bamboo, such as this featured work. While his bamboo-painting ink style and inspirations for poetry and calligraphy were both influenced by Su Shi, he developed his unique style of artistic expression.

Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign, Kang Xiaolu and Zhou Muyun

 

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