Finches and bamboo

Emperor Huizong Chinese

Not on view

Huizong was the eighth emperor of the Song dynasty and the most artistically accomplished of his imperial line. Finches and Bamboo exemplifies the realistic style of flower-and-­bird painting practiced at Huizong’s academy. Whether making a study from nature or illustrating a line of poetry, however, the emperor valued capturing the spirit of a subject over literal representation. Here the minutely observed finches are imbued with the vitality of their living counterparts. Drops of lacquer added to the birds’eyes impart a final lifelike touch.

#7710. Finches and Bamboo

Finches and bamboo, Emperor Huizong (Chinese, 1082–1135; r. 1100–25), Handscroll; ink and color on silk, China

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