Signature: Zheng Xie (1693–1765)
Six columns in running script
I know that by nature you are a man of pure heart,
So I have painted these secluded orchids as a
portrait [of you].
Someday when we are old and retire in Jiangnan
[south of the Yangzi River],
In thatched huts with bamboo fences, we will still
be good neighbors.
In the spring of the seventh year of the Qianlong reign era , I painted and inscribed this for Mr. Zhenfan [Cheng Duo]. I ask him to correct both for me. Your junior, Banqiao, Zheng Xie, respectfully wrote this.
Inscription: Inscribed by Gu Yuankui (jüren degree 1744, dated 1759); Yunxi (1711–1758), dated 1757; Zhu Wenzhen (1718–ca. 1778), undated; and Cheng Duo (active early–mid-18th century).
Wu Changshi wrote the two large characters "Ink Play" in a monumental form of seal script as a title for a monochrome painting of orchids and bamboo by the Yangzhou painter Zheng Xie (1693-1765). The same two characters, written in running script, appear at the top of the first column of Wu's poetic dedication.
The handscroll opens with a title sheet in archaic script reading "Ink Play", written by Lu Hui (1851–1920). Zheng's long monochromatic composition of orchids and bamboo was painted by Cheng Duo and is punctuated by four inscriptions written by various friends at the owner's request. The composition culminates with a poem "Orchids and Bamboo" in running script, written by Zheng Xie, dated 1742. A laudatory colophon written by Lu Hui and dated 1901 follows on gold-flecked paper.