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Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts

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Grapevine in the Wind

Unidentified Artist

Period:
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
Date:
16th century
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Dimensions:
31 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (80 x 40 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift and Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.439
  • Description

    A wind-tossed grapevine, heavy with ripening fruit, is rendered with masterfully fluent brush techniques. The sway of the serpentine branches is executed with strokes of changing speed and pressure to suggest both contour and volume in a technique known as “flying white” (in which areas of unpainted silk are left visible). The contrasting textures of the plump fruit and fragile leaves are achieved with carefully modulated tones of ink.

    Along with the so-called Four Gentlemen (plum, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and orchid), the grapevine was a favored motif among literati painters of the Joseon dynasty. As a vehicle for displaying the artist’s calligraphic techniques and styles—a talent every scholarly gentleman was expected to possess—ink monochrome works of grapevines were considered a worthy part of the literati painter’s repertoire.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
36457

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