Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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墨鷺 李用雨, 靜物
Still life with crabs and fish

Yi Yong-u (artist name: Mungno) (Korean, 1902–1952)
probably 1940s
Pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on paper
Image: 52 x 12 in. (132.1 x 30.5 cm) Overall with mounting: 78 x 18 in. (198.1 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.24a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 233
This pair of scrolls depicts an arrangement of plants, scholars’ implements, crabs, and fish strewn on and around a large woven basket and tall table. The dramatic composition and the juxtaposition of dark, wet ink with vibrant colors imbue the painting with a pulsating energy.

The short poems on the scrolls were written by the calligrapher Yi Gwangyeol (1885–1966) and eloquently capture the visual imagery. The inscription on the left alludes to the crabs “residing in my hometown of grass and mud being a free-spirited traveler of rivers and lakes.” That on the right refers to the books, stationery, flowers, and bronze vessels “for delectation in the scholar’s studio.”
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