Scuttling Crab

Qi Baishi Chinese

Not on view

Qi Baishi emerged as an artist of distinctive genius late in life when he was able to integrate the study of calligraphy into his brushwork. This painting shows his tendency, even into his fifties, to rely on loose visual suggestion rather than on a calligraphic system of expressive brush lines. Each stroke that defines the crab's body and legs is painstakingly individualized to perform a specific descriptive function. Compare this representational mode of depiction with that of the adjacent Shrimp, done only eight years later, after Qi's images were enriched by his new calligraphic manner.

Scuttling Crab, Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864–1957), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, China

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