Orchids

Full Title: 
蘭; Orchids
Culture: 
Materials: 
Uncovered hand scroll: four painting panels and colophon panel, ink on silk
Techniques: 
painting
Dimensions: 
33.66 cm (height) x 95.73 cm (length)
Notes: 
The Tang tree in the inscription refers to the official Shao Gong, son of Zhou Wen Wang. Shao, while on an inspection tour of the south, stopped beneath the shade of a tang tree to conduct administrative affairs. His governance, fair and just, earned him a reputation for wise rule, and after his death the Tang tree came to signify his virtue. Thus the small grasses in the artist's inscription - a Confucian metaphor for the people - have flourished under the virtuous shade of the "retired scholar of the Bamboo Tower," who is likely the recipient of this painting. He is the flower venerated in the inscription and whose benevolence she summons in her painting.
Inscriptions: 
An artist's inscription, on the fourth section of the scroll. Two collector's inscriptions (dated 1944 and 1948) on the fifth section of the scroll. The artist's inscription: "I have heard that there is a field of flowers in Guangdong. This field is the capital where the flowers grow. The great retired scholar of the "Bamboo Tower" served as an official in Yue [Guangdong] for many years. The small grasses covered by the shade of the tang tree grow in splendor. With reverence I have painted this scroll and offer it as a gift. Although I have not been able to convey the kindness and compassion of these plants in the flower field or been able to convey the beneficial influence one can receive through intimacy with them., I have been able closely to imbue the image with the deep veneration I have for them. Painted in the eight month of Autumn, 1824. The sixth scroll of orchids. The Daoist nun Yun Xiang of Mount Xi."
Repository Accession Number: 
1983.9;
Description Source: 
Harrie A. Vanderstappen et al. Ritual and reverence : Chinese art at the University of Chicago . Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Gallery, 1989. (ISBN 0935573100)
Scrolls Project ID: 
728 350