Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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近代 李苦禪 雜畫 手卷
Various Subjects

Artist:
Li Kuchan (Chinese, 1898–1983)
Date:
dated 1972
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink and color on Japanese paper
Dimensions:
Image: 16 15/16 x 322 7/8 in. (43 x 820.1 cm) Overall with mounting: 15 7/16 x 170 1/8 in. (39.2 x 432.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.267.355
Not on view
Between 1923 and 1925 Li Kuchan attended the National Art Academy in Beijing, where he studied Western painting under Xu Beihong (1895–1953) and Chinese painting under Qi Baishi (1864–1957). From 1930 to 1934 Li taught at the Hangzhou Art Academy as a colleague of Pan Tianshou (1897–1971). He then returned to Beijing and became a professor of painting at the Central Academy. This work, created at the height of the Cultural Revolution, graphically conveys Li's determination to preserve his dignity in the face of persecution. While his accompanying comments seem humorous, they cannot disguise the spirit of proud defiance embodied by the symbols of endurance and survival he has chosen to depict.
Signature: Signature: Kuchan, in his 75th year
Dated: the second day of the fifth month of 1972

Artist's inscriptions and seals:
Section one: Plum and Pine
Pure plum and virgin pine are examples for society. They endure forever.
Seals: 1. Chanfu (rectangular, white characters)
2. Done after my 70th year (rectangular, red characters)

Section two: Bamboo and Orchid
The orchid has fragrance and bamboo has dignity.
Seals: Lishi Kuchan (rectangular, white characters)

Section three: Cabbages and Lotus
Eating this vegetable often toughens the teeth. What comes out of the mud without stain stands straight and has stable roots.
Seal: Seal of Li Ying (square, white characters)

Section four: Magpies and Eagle
I have not painted for a long time, which gives some trouble to my wrists. Paintings like this are only worth a laugh.
Dedicated to Rongkuan
Seals: 1. Kuchan (square, red characters)
2. Seal of Li Ying (square, white characters)

Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Collection (each section)
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