Li Kan / Bamboo and Rocks / Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), 1318Li Kan
Bamboo and Rocks
Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), 1318

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Creator Name: Li, Kan
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Dates/Places: Chinese, 1245-1320
Creator Name-CRT: Li Kan
Title: Bamboo and Rocks
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1318
Creation End Date: 1318
Creation Date: Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), 1318
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk
Dimensions: Each 74 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (189.9 x 55.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1973.120.7ab
Credit Line: Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family

Gift of The Dillon Fund, 1973


Li Kan was a northern Chinese who entered the service of the Mongol government in an early period of his life and rose to a high position in the Yuan court. The author of an authoritative treatise on bamboo painting, Li asserted that the painter must possess 'the complete bamboo in [his] breast,' and he urged the statesman to take up bamboo painting to discipline his mind and expand his breadth of vision. Li completed these panels in 1318, the year the Mongol regime reinstituted the civil service examinations, the chief means through which scholars gained access to official positions. The painting is done in the 'shuangou' (double outline) style. This technique, in which finely drawn ink outlines are filled in with dense mineral pigments, was ideally suited to Li's intense identification with bamboo. Minutely observed and intricately rendered, these noble plants impart a heightened sense of reality that approaches portraiture.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1973.120.7ab
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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