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Sunset over the Plateaux of Southern Shaanxi
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
31 7/8 x 20 3/4 in. (81 x 52.7 cm)
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Not on view
In this painting, a mule train moves slowly along a mountain path through a cornfield that appears brilliant red in the glow of sunset. During the Cultural Revolution, the color red symbolized new China and recalled the stirring lines of the revolutionary song: "The East is Red, the sun rises; China has produced a Chairman Mao." In Shi Lu's ominous landscape, however, it is the light of the setting sun that illuminates the fields, which appear like a brushfire about to consume the travelers. The mountains, like thick black smoke, offer no sanctuary from this conflagration.
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