Shitao (Zhu Ruoji) Chinese

Not on view

In the inscription on this fan, Shitao sets forth his theory of painting, "the single stroke," or "the painting of oneness (yihua)":

On a windy, rainy, spring day, I am happy I have no visitors; my hand is free, my mind relaxed and cleansed. The ancients called it yihua, the "single stroke": a thousand hills, ten thousand valleys, people, bamboo, trees,a single brushstroke and all is completed. On one level, yihua constitutes a very practical concept: a complete design begins and finishes with the single brushstroke. On a metaphysical level, it suggests that "myriad strokes are reunited in oneness" through the mind and hand of the artist and through the artist's spiritual communion with nature.

Landscape, Shitao (Zhu Ruoji) (Chinese, 1642–1707), Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on gold-flecked paper, China

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.