Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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元 佚名 蓮花圖 軸
Lotus and waterbirds

Artist:
Unidentified Artist , active ca. 1300
Period:
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
Date:
ca. 1300
Culture:
China
Medium:
Pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image (each): 55 3/4 x 26 3/4 in. (141.6 x 67.9 cm) Overall with mounting (each): 107 1/2 x 27 1/4 in. (273.1 x 69.2 cm) Overall with knobs (each): 107 1/2 x 27 3/4 in. (273.1 x 70.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.155a, b
Not on view
Imported from India, the lotus—growing from the slime of a pond, its blossoms blooming unsullied—was linked to Buddhist images of purity and rebirth. By the thirteenth century, naturalistic depictions of lotus in different seasons also evoked the ephemeral nature of physical beauty. This large-scale decorative work is by a professional painter of the Piling School, situated near Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. The midsummer scene (on the right) shows lotus flowers in early stages of budding and bloom, while the autumnal scene (on the left) shows its later stages: petals falling, leaves turning brown, and seed pods ripening. The newly sprouted water reeds of midsummer also contrast with the late-blooming water plant and the smartweed that has gone to seed, while the busy activity of a pair of ducks skimming the water for food on the right is juxtaposed with two egrets resting quietly on the left.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature or seal

Collectors’ seals

Illegible: 2 (?)
[ Shunichi Yabumoto , Tokyo, 1988; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cultivated Landscapes: Reflections of Nature in Chinese Painting with Selections from the Collection of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill," September 10, 2002–February 9, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan I," March 1, 2003–September 21, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Douglas Dillon Legacy: Chinese Painting for the Metropolitan Museum," March 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Yuan Revolution: Art and Dynastic Change," August 21, 2010–January 9, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats," August 18, 2012–January 6, 2013.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection I," October 31, 2015–October 11, 2016.

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