Image: 26 3/4 × 37 in. (67.9 × 94 cm)
Overall with mounting: 78 × 41 in. (198.1 × 104.1 cm)
Overall with knobs: 78 × 45 in. (198.1 × 114.3 cm)
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Not on view
Persecuted and imprisoned for his bourgeois individualism during the Cultural Revolution, Shi Lu escaped death only after being diagnosed as a schizophrenic. During this period he turned increasingly to the practice of calligraphy and calligraphic painting. In this work, dating to the early 1970s, the fragmented image of three swimming ducks matches the tremulous quality of Shi Lu's inscription:
How ducks make merry with peach blossoms in spring water.
(Wen Fong, trans., Between Two Cultures: Late-Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Chinese Paintings from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art [New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001], p. 244)
Signature: Shi lu painted at Changan Undated
Artist's inscription: Happy ducks in spring water with peach blossoms; dedicated to Ahong.
Artist's seal: Shi Lu (painted oval, red characters)
Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth
Robert H. Ellsworth , New York (until 1986; donated to MMA)
Fort Worth. Kimbell Art Museum. "Style and Expressionism: Modern Chinese Painting," November 4, 1989–January 14, 1990.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Between Two Cultures: A Selection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Chinese Paintings from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection," January 30, 2001–August 19, 2001.
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. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.