Autumn landscape with egrets and ducks

Lü Ji Chinese

Not on view

Lü Ji, a professional painter from Zhejiang Province, worked in the Southern Song (1127–1279) ink-wash style, which had remained popular in that region through the intervening centuries. He was summoned to be a court painter in the Hongzhi period (1488–1505) and was given an honorary title as an officer in the imperial guard. The artist's paintings, done in a dashing descriptive style that was highly regarded at court, were derided by Shen Zhou (1427–1509), the leading scholar-painter of the time, as being merely works "of the hand"; Shen considered his own calligraphic drawings to be products "of the heart." The contrast between the hand and the heart highlights the presumed difference between the works of the "professional" artists and those of the "scholar-amateur" painters of the Ming period.

Autumn landscape with egrets and ducks, Lü Ji (Chinese, active late 15th century), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, China

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