Cormorants in Misty Moonlight

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Cui Bai (active mid- to late 11th century) Follower of Lü Ji (ca. 1420-ca. 1505)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Late 16th century
School
Zhe School
Medium
Hanging scroll mounted on panel; ink on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 152.7 x 96.9 cm (60 1/8 x 38 1/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1916.187
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
China, cormorant, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), moon, willow tree
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Label

Pale, lucid ink strokes and horizontal washes create the atmosphere of a breezeless, moonlit night at the water's edge. Three cormorants rest under drooping willow branches; one cranes it neck toward the moon, while its companions doze. The artist exerted only light pressure on the brush, using watery, swiftly executed strokes to create an almost sketch-like effect. The fake inscription dated 1142 at upper right falsely attributes this work to the eleventh-century bird-and-flower painter Cui Bai; however, judging from its composition and loose, quick brushwork, this scroll was probably executed by a follower of the late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century artist Lü Ji.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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