In this idyllic scene, the goddess Parvati offers her husband Shiva a drink, as they enjoy a quiet moment together. Their children, the elephant-headed Ganesha and Skanda, play inside a tent made from the hide of an elephant demon that Shiva had slain. Both parents are clothed in animal skins, the garb of mountain-dwelling ascetics, while Shiva is further adorned with a long necklace of skulls and a snake.
The narrative and iconographical elements of this scene alludes to multiple aspects of Shiva’s character—as lover, family man, destroyer of evil, and supreme practitioner of austerities—but, as is typical of Kangra painting, the overall mood is one of tranquility and domestic harmony.
Kangra was a small Rajput state in the Punjab Hills, which lie at the foot of the Himalaya in the far north of India. From the mid-eighteenth century, artists in this region began to adapt certain features of European painting, as filtered through Mughal painting. That impact is seen here in the naturalistic palette and treatment of forms, especially the animals and tree.
Signed and inscribed: People ask how to paint the blossoms. I say, what the ancient painters try to avoid, you follow, then you are not like ordinary people. To have no method is actually to have method. Pai-shih Mountain-hermit wrote. Upper Seal: ? Lowe Seal: Pai-shih
A black crow is seated on a plum branch above calligraphic text and cascades of open blossoms.
The subject of plum blossoms had long been a favorite among scholar-painters. Because they bloom in the very late winter, plum blossoms are likened to the scholar who thrives in adverse environments. Plum blossoms also offered the sheer formal beauty of contrast between the thrusting, angular branches and the delicate, rounded blossoms.
The painting depicts three houses in a small village, surrounded by trees. There is a lake in the right-hand foreground of the painting. The artist signed his name with the seal of his pen name, Lao Pai (Pai the old man) on the upper left-hand corner.
Signed and inscribed: I once painted Three Fish and inscribed it: painting is what I did in the time remaining after work, poetry in the time remaining after sleep, and calligraphy in the time remaining after carving. This is what I call the three remaining. (in Chinese, "fish" and "remaining" are pronounced the same)
The painting depicts three fishes below a calligraphic poem. The poem goes: "I once painted Three Fish and inscribed it: painting is what I did in the time remaining after work, poetry in the time remaining after sleep, and calligraphy in the time remaining after carving. This is what I call the three remaining." (in Chinese, "fish" and "remaining" are pronounced the same)
This painting depicts a solitary bird perched on a tropical banana plant. There are inscriptions and signature of the artist on the upper left-hand corner: "A farewell gift for Mr. Katsuizumi, as he goes south. Baishi."
In 1922, a friend persuaded Baishi to submit paintings to a Sino-Japanese art exhibition in Japan. It was a spectacular success: his paintings sold for far higher prices than he had been earning in China and several were chosen for an exhibition in Paris, which led to international fame. The Japanese remained some of Baishi’s most eager customers, although he increasingly refused their requests after Japanese incursions into China in the early 1930s.
However, this painting was a gift for the artist's Japanese friend. The artist inscription indicates that it was a farewell gift for his Japanese friend Katsuizumi Sotokichi when he left Beijing for a more southerly post.
It perhaps anticipates that Katsuizumi would be lonely in his new environment. Made in probably the 1920s, it quietly bears witness to an earlier and more congenial phase in Chinese-Japanese relations.
Blank background. On the right half of the painting, there is a duck and a few plant leaves. The artist signed his pen name, "Host of the Eight-inkstone Mansion," with seal on the right edge of the painting.
A vase with flowers sits before a window, between two books that lie on a table, and framed by open red curtains. The landscape outside the window shows a blue cloud sky above a body of water.
One of the many paintings mixing elements of still life and landscape that Hartley did after returning to his home state of Maine in the thirties. He was fascinated with the land and lives of New England in his later years, and his works show a mix of European modernism and American regionalism.
An angular bottle executed in two tones of white stands tall just to the (viewer's) right of center. To its left is a stack of gray drinking cups. Irregular blocks of various sizes and colors make up the rest of the field.
A Cubist still life, depicting a bottle and drinking cups. The perspective is mildly fragmented and, through the use of the blocks of color as well as the blocky objects, the space is flattened into discrete planes.
This painting depicts a quiet rural scene. A river runs back into space from the foreground into the distance, flanked on either side by green trees along the banks. A twilight sky dominates with salmon and blue hues. Ducks or geese fly just above the trees at right.
Daubigny was a skilled "plein air" painter who created luminous and quiet views of the French countryside and showed regularly in the official juried Salon exhibitions in Paris. This rural river scene has the direct observation and freely applied paint typical of Barbizon paintings. Daubigny constructed a studio-boat from which he could paint views along the Seine and other waterways in France.
An abstract figure with anthropomorphic qualities stands to the left, with a wing-like object sweeping across the middle of the painting and into the right side, which holds a still life component. The color scheme is predominently cool with warm accents throughout both the figure and the still life.
Three forms that are simulatenously organic and sculptural stand in a line. At their base they appear sculptural or vessel-like, but further up they become more organic and cactus-like in their form. The table and background are yellow. The forms are executed mostly with white, off-white, and gray.
Sutherland's unruly, partly sculptural, partly organic forms appear to take unexpected shapes on their own. The ferile organicism suggests the non-humanity of nature, but this organicism is connected to the human, rational world via the sculptural.
Hanging scroll. A female figure is sitting against a blank background. She wears multiple layers of kimono, her hair is black and long, and her face white. She is watching a spider, descending from ceiling; her arms are extending in front as if she is trying to catch it. A screen of white and brown fabric is on her right, and an oil ramp with flame is on the other side. Three rolls of paper are placed in front of her. There are the artist's signature and seal on the left lower corner.
The painting is mounted on light blue brocade with designs of auspicious characters and objects, including character “longevity,” treasures, and double gourds. The sides are made of golden brocade, but the gold foil is almost worn out.
Warm holes on the upper right side, some small stains and dark lines on the top and near the face of the figure. Two repaired damages on the lower right corner. Some warm holes on the mounting as well. The wooden scroll bar is black lacquered.
Sotôri hime (or Oto hime) was the younger sister of Ôsaka no Onakatsu hime, the wife of Inkyô tennô (412-453 CE) whom that Emperor installed in his palace. She was of peerless beauty and a poetess. She is often represented as a Court Lady, holding in her hand a shuttle, or in the act of weaving, being credited with the introduction of silk weaving into Japan. (Edmunds, Pointers and Clues to the Subjects of Chinese and Japanese Art, 1934)
The composition is a well-established type: a complex of temple buildings is tucked into a mountainside, on the shore of a broad body of water, with mists rising to obscure the distant peaks. The artist provides a path leading from the viewer’s space to the temple. Two travelers go before us, a hooded figure riding a donkey over a rustic bridge, and another man striding along on foot, further ahead. The temple buildings themselves are hidden behind thick foliage, as if protected from the secular world.Here the forms of the rocky outcroppings, the trees, and even the mountains are starkly outlined, and there are strong contrasts of light and dark. These features suggest that this is a work of by a professional Kanô School artist, probably of the seventeenth century.
This painting depicts an imaginary scene in south China, the home of the great monasteries where several influential Japanese Zen monks studied in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This painting also bears a false seal of Shûbun, one of Japan's most admired landscape painters of the fifteenth century; but in this case, the type departs radically from the elusive, dreamy quality we associate with Shûbun today.
Yan Cai Zhe Yi Zeng Yi Xi, Fei Jun Zi Qi Shui Tuo. Yi He Nian Zhi Kai, Jing Er Fei Fu Yi Fen Fang Xi, Fen Han Xiang Er Tu E. Liao Yan Zhu Yi Shu Huai Xi, Fu Yan Kan Er Ming Zhuo.
(Pick a(n) (orchid) plant and give it only to a gentleman who will cherish it. When it blossoms, the stems are straight and lush, the flowers disseminate scents in the air, and the calyces wither. Let me stay longer and indulge in a moment of contemplation, leaning on the banister, drinking a cup of whine, and thinking about life.
Signature: Qing Xiang Chen Ren A Chang (The old man, A-Chang, from Qingxiang).