This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world.
www.davidrumsey.com/amica offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
- Cultures and time periods represented
range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
- Types of works include paintings, drawings,
watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs,
textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.
Gain access to this incredible resource through either a
monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from
your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute
details of the images. Visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica
for more information on the collection, click on the link below the
revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creator Name: Zhang, Wu
Creator Nationality: Chinese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Wu Zhang
Creator Name: Chu, Huan
Creator Name-CRT: Huan Chu
Title: The Nine Songs
Title Type: Primary
Creation Start Date: 1361
Creation End Date: 1361
Creation Date: 1361
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: handscroll, ink on paper
Dimensions: Overall: 28cm x 438.2cm
Inscriptions: Inscribed by the calligrapher in 1361.
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1959.138
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Context: The subject of this narrative scroll is a lyric work composed by the poet Chu Yuan (343-278 BC) who lived in the southern state of Chu during the late Bronze Age. Based on popular ritual incantations, his songs name eleven different spirits. They eventually became one section within a larger compilation entitled the Chuci (Songs of the South), a book of poetic writings that enjoyed great popularity throughout Chinese history. Chu Yuan's contributions had particular appeal among scholars and civil servants in large part because of his biography. Unfairly dismissed from governmental service, Chu Yuan, a virtuous statesman, was exiled and, in his despair, eventually drowned himself in the Mile River. The songs, actually appeals to the spirits, are imbued with the sadness of an unjust fate.This scroll was created while China was ruled by Mongol khans, a time when the Nine Songs must have had particular significance since many educated scholars were unjustly barred from careers in government. It is a collaborative work that united two great masters of the brush, the painter Zhang Wu and the calligrapher Chu Huan. Divided into eleven sections, the scroll contains illustrations of the primary subject of the lyric, frequently joined by attendants, each followed by a transcription of Chu's verse. Befitting the archaic flavor of the subject, Zhang isolates his figures and renders them in the linear baimiao technique with added washes of ink. For this method of painting, the painter must control the natural flexibility of the brush, maintaining an even pressure on its head while guiding its tip along the spine of each stroke. Suggesting both their appearance and the powerful strength required for their creation, these polished strokes are popularly known as tiexian (iron wire lines), a term first used to describe certain examples of archaic calligraphy. A similar degree of brush control is evident in Chu Huan's inscriptions where rounded, centered- tip strokes terminate with plump full ends. Although a note written at the end of the scroll states that it was based on a work by the Northern Song scholar-amateur painter Li Gonglin (about 1041-1106), the painting is both fresh and spontaneous, reflecting the power and exhilaration that could be inspired in the Chinese tradition by the earlier works of great masters. K.W.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1959.138
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at www.davidrumsey.com/amica/institution_subscribe.html c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.