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Garden Flowers

After Chen Chun (Chinese, 1483–1544)

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1540
Culture:
China
Medium:
Album of sixteen paintings and one leaf of calligraphy; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image (six leaves): 12 13/16 x 22 9/16 in. (32.5 x 57.3 cm) Image (ten leaves): 13 1/8 x 22 3/4 in. (33.3 x 57.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.266.1a–u
  • Description

    Following Shen Zhou’s (1427–1509) example of treating still-life painting as uninhibited “ink plays,” Chen Chun strove to turn his flower paintings into spontaneous “idea writings.” Realistic flower paintings had been a popular subject since at least the tenth century, and Chen Chun was perhaps the greatest exponent of this genre in his time. This album, with a rich variety of spring blossoms, treats flowers not merely as botanical specimens but also as inevitable reminders of the brevity of life, beauty, and material existence.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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