Radishes and Mustard Greens

Zhang Daqian Chinese

Not on view

In his inscription to this painting, Zhang Daqian pays homage to Lin Yutang's admiration both for humor and for Su Shi by quoting a humorous line from Su Shi's poem "On Eating Light." It reads: "Radishes give birth to sons and mustard greens have grandsons." Su Shi was trying to eliminate meat from his diet in observance of the Buddhist decree not to kill. One can eat radishes and mustard greens without guilt because they continue to propagate after being harvested. Although Zhang Daqian became a vegetarian in the last few years of his life, he was still an unabashed meat-eater when he painted this scroll.

Radishes and Mustard Greens, Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899–1983), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, China

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