Huang Binhong Chinese

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Painted late in Huang Binhong's long life, this album reflects his mastery of traditional Chinese flower painting. In each leaf, Huang explores a different flower as well as different styles of painting them-from the outline style of his tree peony, to the "boneless" method (using washes with no defining contour strokes) of his herbaceous peonies. The last leaf—a hibiscus—shows a combination of line and wash that epitomizes his style. In spite of the coloristic opportunities afforded by an album of flowers, Huang's use of the same few colors over and over demonstrates that his principal concern was not representational or decorative but was the stylistic language of the genre.

Flowers, Huang Binhong (Chinese, 1865–1955), Album of eight leaves; ink and color on paper, China

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