A rock rises above the earth, and branches of bamboo mimic the gentle curve of its shape. Grasses grow below. Two lines of calligraphic text are written verticalley on the left side of the painting.
Creating cooperative works with peer artists has been a fashion closely connected to the literati’s painting concept and practice. As modes of personal expressions, according to literati theory, paintings are created for private occasions and are shared and appreciated among circles of friends. The cooperative work celebrates respectful mutual relationships and reinforce affections among the painters participated.
Chang collaborated with two friends from the Seven Friends Painting Club, Liu Yantao and Gao Yihong. Naturally, in a cooperative work, each artist often takes on a subject best representing his/her talents. Appealing to scholar-artist, the elegance and subtle fragrance of orchids have long been regarded as the emblem of righteous gentlemen, thus a suitable subject for scholars alike.
Concave, ovoid maskette with kaolin covering surface of surface of face. Minimal rendering of facial features: raised, tapered wood strip for nose; narrow, oviod, horizontal eyes; open, ovoid mouth with some striation around interior edge.
This maskette was used in initiation ceremonies associated with bwami, a ranked initiation society open to all Lega men and women. Bwami was the core of Lega identity. Its moral and philosophical precepts permeated all aspects of social and political life. Maskettes were emblems of an individual's rank in the bwami society. They were also used to aid in the instruction of bwami ideas and values. The meaning of individual maskettes were context specific and could change over time.
Inscribed LC: Workman Signed LR: Elizabeth Olds.1939 Stamped LL: Federal Art Project NYC WPA Addt'l markings: inscribed LRC: 11 Original NY FAP label in file, date in blue: OCT 9 1939 Stamped in black: OCT 16 1939
In the center and right foreground, taking up most of the scene, are clustered buildings with tiled roofs, casting large dark shadows. In the background, at the upper left portion, the hillside can be seen, depicted by trees and a river that cuts through diagonally. In the upper left-most portion, the geometric shapes of plowed fields can be seen.
Groups of figures sit crowded around tables in a dark, smoky interior. In the foreground a man dressed in white hose and a red cap leans on a barrel, his tankard placed at his feet, and looks directly ahead out of the scene. To his left several men cluster around a table to drink and smoke, while other dimly lit figures sit and move about in the background.
A group of peasants, consisting mostly of men, are gathered in a dark interior to smoke, drink, and converse.
Bold colors depict Krishna, one of human manifestations of the Hindu god Vishnu, is seated with a woman, Radha, above him. He touches her leg, and the tips of her hands and feet glow red. She sits erect and holds a large flower, looking straight off the left edge of the picture. The two are framed in an architectural structure.
Krishna, the cowherd of Vrindavan, was one of human manifestations of the Hindu god Vishnu. Precocious and naughty as a child, he grew to overcome many obstacles and conquer ferocious demons to save himself and his tribe. The love affair between Krishna and his favorite gopi (cowgirl), Radha, is a common theme in north Indian painting. Their passionate relationship is a metaphor for the unquenchable love of the soul for the supreme god. As seen here, it is not always Radha who is in a subservient position in this love affair: often Radha is proud and aloof, and it is Krishna who is the ardent wooer.
The bold design, intense color, and jewel-encrusted effect (accomplished by the use of beetle thorax casings) are all characteristic of hill painting of the early eighteenth century—as is the stirring combination of fiery passion and dignified reserve.
The branches of a plum tree stretch skyward, skillfully utilizing the vertical space of this hanging scroll. Black dots are used as accents along the branches, making them look knotted and full of texture. These heavy features are offset by the delicate depiction of plum blossoms. Calligraphic text is in the upper right corner, with two seals.
A native of southwest China, Li Jishou was most famous for his ink paintings of plum blossoms executed in the style of Jin Nong (1687–1764). Li includes an inscription in squared-off characters that are an homage to Jin Nong’s distinctive calligraphic style.