Shitao, one of the most outstanding landscape masters of his time, was also passionately in love with bamboo painting. On this monumental work, he quotes a description by Su Che (1039–1112) of Wen Tong (1018–1079), the Northern Song bamboo painter: "He dallies amid bamboo in the morning, stays in the company of bamboo in the evening, drinks and eats amid the bamboo, and rests and sleeps in the shade of bamboo; having observed all the different aspects of the bamboo, he then exhausts all the bamboo's many transformations."
Accompanying Shitao's signature is his seal, which quotes a saying by Wen Tong: "How can I live one day without this gentleman!"
During the eighteenth,century, Shitao's style of bamboo painting was practiced by members of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (5 columns in semi-cursive and standard scripts)
Wen Yuke [Wen Tong, 1018–1079] painted bamboo in ink without colors and regarded it as fine bamboo. A guest saw it and was startled. Ziyou [Su Che, 1039–1112] explained, “Walking among bamboo in the morning, being a companion to bamboo in the evening; drinking and eating amid bamboo, relaxing in the shade of bamboo. Only after much observation of the transformations of bamboo” can one completely understand it. If this is not done, then whether horizontal or slanting, crooked or straight, its character will be obscured. If that guest had not been startled, my heart would not be on the right path, and I would always have been an outsider in bamboo painting.
 Trans. by Maxwell K. Hearn, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Notable Acquisitions 1984-1985 (1985), p. 72. Modified.  Su Che, “Mozhu fu” (Rhapsody on Ink Bamboo).
Douglas Dillon , New York, 1984; donated to MMA
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. "Chinese Painting, Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," August 28, 2004–February 20, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.