Azure Cliff with Red Maples

Wu Bin Chinese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 211

A solitary figure with a walking staff stands atop a low cliff contemplating a mountain vista. This scene of human encounter with nature is accompanied by a verse by the celebrated Tang-dynasty poet Du Fu (712–770), inscribed by the painter:

The azure cliff catches the breeze, a lone cloud thin,
Red maples, their backs to the sun, ten thousand trees dense.
—Translation by Stephen Owen

Azure Cliff with Red Maples, Wu Bin (active ca. 1583–1626), Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on paper, China

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