Odes of the State of Bin

Unidentified artist

Not on view

Composed more than 2,500 years ago, Odes of the State of Bin is part of The Book of Odes, one of the Confucian classics. The poem chronicles the annual cycle of activites in the countryside: the unfolding stages of the agricultural and sericultural year; preparation for seasonal changes; domestic activities; sources of nourishment; and requisite ritual acts. This scroll, a work in the baimiao ("plain drawing") style executed in the thirteenth century, uses a continuous narrative format; no text is included. Lacking illustrations to the first two stanzas of the poem, it opens with a scene of picking mulberry leaves for silkworms.

Odes of the State of Bin, Unidentified artist, Handscroll; ink on paper, China

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