Composed more than 2,500 years ago, Odes of the State of Bin is part of The Book of Odes, one of the Confucian classics. The poem chronicles the annual cycle of activites in the countryside: the unfolding stages of the agricultural and sericultural year; preparation for seasonal changes; domestic activities; sources of nourishment; and requisite ritual acts. This scroll, a work in the baimiao ("plain drawing") style executed in the thirteenth century, uses a continuous narrative format; no text is included. Lacking illustrations to the first two stanzas of the poem, it opens with a scene of picking mulberry leaves for silkworms.
Inscription: No artist's inscription, signature, or seal
Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–1795), 1 column in standard script, undated; 2 seals:
Unidentified artist, 3 large characters in seal script, undated:
Inscription carved on the cover ribbon’s jade clasper
Qing emperor Qianlong清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–1795), 2 columns in seal script, undated: