Eight Songs of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers

Unidentified artist
After Wen Zhengming Chinese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 214

In the eleventh century, an artist named Song Di painted a set of melancholy landscapes evoking the river watersheds of the Xiao and Xiang region in current-day Hunan Province, southwest China. Poets of the day responded to Song’s paintings with corresponding poems, giving rise to a tradition of Xiao-Xiang poetry and painting that continued in subsequent centuries in China and eventually extended to Japan and Korea. This rendition bears a signature of the Ming-dynasty artist Wen Zhengming, but both the calligraphy and painting lack Wen’s subtlety; it is believed to have been painted in his style after his death.

Eight Songs of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers, Unidentified artist  , 16th or 17th century, Album of eight leaves; ink on paper, China

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