Rice Culture depicts China's most fundamental economic activity: the cultivation and harvesting of rice. It is based closely on a set of texts and illustrations first created by the Southern Song court painter Lou Shou (1090–1162). The scroll, which preserves the final nine scenes from this series, bears an inscription, dated 1353, by a Mongolian named Hugechi that states that, after he acquired this painting, he had it remounted and presented it to the Grand Preceptor as a resource for establishing policy.
The work not only documents the continuation of the Song-style court painting tradition but demonstrates how Mongol officials, in spite of their nomadic heritage, had come to appreciate both the fundamental nature of agriculture in Chinese society and its importance in sustaining the fiscal health of the dynasty.
Inscription: Artists’ inscriptions and signature
Unidentified artist (64 columns in standard script)
 The Chinese characters in the brackets in the transcriptions are missing on the scroll due to surface damages.
Christie's, Hong Kong , May 30, 2005, lot 955, as "Illustrations of Husbandry,"
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty," September 28, 2010–January 2, 2011.
Hunan Provincial Museum. "Finding a Homeland at the End of the World: The Trans-Cultural Exchanges and Interactions Between Italy and China from the 14th Century to the 16th Century," September 20, 2017–December 20, 2017.