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Playing the Ruan

Fu Baoshi Chinese

Not on view

Here, three women listen intently to the strains of a lute-like ruan. Their pensive expressions, leaning poses, and tight-knit triangular grouping reflect the art and theories of the Eastern Jin master Gu Kaizhi (ca. 345–406), who advocated “capturing the spirit through the form.” Fu’s fluid, curving brushlines also capture something of Gu’s musical “iron wire” draftsmanship.

Playing the Ruan, Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904–1965), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, China

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