Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on gold-flecked paper
6 7/8 x 17 1/2 in. (17.5 x 44.5 cm)
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
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.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (26 columns in standard script)