Ink bamboo

Li Shan Chinese

Not on view

The tip of a young bamboo plant leans into view from the left edge of this painting, as if blown there by the wind. Li Shan arranged his lengthy inscription around the leaves, creating a dynamic interplay between word and image. The inscription contains a long poem about the history of bamboo painting from the eleventh century to the artist’s own time. After describing all the great masters who preceded him, he boldly declares that “my own bamboo belongs to yet another school.”

Ink bamboo, Li Shan (Chinese, 1686–ca. 1756), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, China

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