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China Anonymous, Chinese
Lady in Garden, 18th - 19th c.
Paint and Ink on Paper
36 3/8 in. x 12 5/8 in. (92.39 cm x 32.07 cm)

Object Type: Scroll
Technique: Brushwork
Period: Ch'ing Dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. William Bacon Pettus
Accession Number: 0249

Red ink seal stamped in the lower right. Inscription and two red seals stamped in the upper left.

Black ink and paint (red, white and blue) on white paper, with a white paper mounting, which is bordered on the right and left edges with white silk brocade.

Object Description
This delicately brushed image of a beautiful woman in a traditional garden setting is done in a “literati” style painting tradition developed in the Ming Dynasty and continued through the Qing. The brushwork is quick and relaxed, rendering a portrait that is informal and evocative. The lady, perhaps a poet, seems lost in thought as she waits beside an extraordinary Lake Tai rock. Large plantain leaves shelter her, and also suggest her fragile character. Thin bamboo stalks, bent by an evening breeze that also blows her garment, allude to her pliant personality. The inscription on the painting also highlights these visual elements, creating a vivid image-text relationship.


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