The Three Symbols of Autumn

The painting depicts autumn flowers: red begonias and chrysanthemums.The three autumn insects in the composition include two crickets and one bee. The painting bears an inscription by the artist, and one of his seals.

Maker(s)
Artist: Qi Baishi 齊白石 (1864-1957)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1934
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 118.2 × 36 cm (46 9/16 × 14 3/16 in)
Geography
China, Hunan province, Xiangtan
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.217
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
autumn, bee, China, chrysanthemum, cricket, Modern period (1912 - present), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The painting depicts autumn flowers: red begonias and chrysanthemums.The three autumn insects in the composition include two crickets and one bee. The painting bears an inscription by the artist, and one of his seals.

Inscription(s)

In his inscription Qi Baishi specified the title of the painting, "The Picture of Three Autumn."

Marking(s)

One of the artist's seals, which reads, "baishi," the "White Stone," a place name in Qi Baishi's home town, is affixed to the scroll.

Label

The dry outlined chrysanthemum flowers made a strong contrast with the broad and moist begonia leaves, which are rendered in rich color. The veins were added while the broadly washed leaves were still wet. Red begonia flowers dotted in rich tones made a decorative pattern around the big clump of leaves. Stylistically, this painting is closely related to the work of Zhao Zhiqian, and Wu Changshuo. Qi Baishi painted the scroll twelve years after his successful sale exhibition in Japan and two years before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war and the resultant occupation of China, a period relatively peaceful and healthy in his life. The next year, according to his autobiography, Qi Baishi injured his leg and began to feel old.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Joseph Chang, Stephen Allee. Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Haftield Ellsworth. Exh. cat. Washington. p. 109.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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