Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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近代 紅梅圖 軸
Plum Blossoms

Artist:
Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864–1957)
Period:
Republic period
Date:
dated 1950
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 27 1/8 x 13 5/8 in. (68.9 x 34.6 cm) Overall with mounting: 88 1/4 x 20 7/8 in. (224.2 x 53 cm) Overall with knobs: 88 1/4 x 24 1/4 in. (224.2 x 61.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Lin Yutang Family Collection, Gift of Richard M. Lai, Jill Lai Miller, and Larry C. Lai, in memory of Taiyi Lin Lai, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.509.1
Not on view
This painting of a mauve blossoming plum is unusual in Qi Baishi's oeuvre because Qi loved the cheerfulness of bright red and usually painted plum blossoms in that color. The pendant branches intersect with one another, forming an abstract network of calligraphic lines that is barely organic. Qi Baishi's later plum paintings are primarily inspired by Wu Changshuo (1844–1927), who introduced an epigraphic aesthetic to the art of painting. In this work, the absence of spatial depth, the even width and smooth turns of the twigs, and the pronounced parallelism of the interlaced branches attest to Qi's indebtedness to Wu as well as his solid discipline in seal-carving and epigraphy. Qi's paintings are first of all reflections of things and feelings that he had personally experienced in life. In the case of plum blossoms, his fondness of this subject resulted from nostalgia for his hometown in Hunan, where his dwelling, named "Studio of Hundred Plums," was surrounded by a plum grove.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 column in standard script)[1]

Old man Baishi, in the gengyin year [1950] at ninety sui.

白石老人庚寅九十歲

Artist’s seal

Baishi 白石

Collectors’ seal

Li Ming 黎明 (Richard M. Lai, 1920–2011) and Lin Taiyi 林太乙 (Taiyi Lin Lai, 1926–2003)
Li Lin 黎林

[1] Documentation from Shi-yee Liu, Straddling East and West: Lin Yutang, A Modern Literatus: The Lin Yutang Family Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, no. 25, p. 85.
Richard M. Lai, Jill Lai Miller and Larry C. Lai , (until 2005; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bridging East and West: The Chinese Diaspora and Lin Yutang," September 15, 2007–February 10, 2008.

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