Figures from Chinese History: Zhang Tianqi Calling
in the CranesArtist(s)Huang ShenObject Creation Date1687-1766Medium & Supportalbum leaf, ink and color on paperDimensions
11 5/16 x 13 9/16 in. (28.73 x 34.45 cm);18 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (45.88 x 56.04 cm);14 3/4 x 15 1/4 in. (37.47 x 38.58 cm);11 5/16 x 13 9/16 in. (28.73 x 34.45 cm)Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection FundLabel copy
This album leaf is one of four from a series in the UMMA collections painted by Huang Shen. A skilled figure painter, Huang works in this series with swift, dynamic brush strokes that resemble calligraphy. His mastery of both painting and calligraphy, as well as poetry, is honored by his traditional epithet as one of the "Eight Eccentric Painters of Yangzhou" (a city in southern China). Each of the four album leaves in this series pictorializes an anecdote associated with a famous person in Chinese history. Each page includes an extensive inscription, signature, and two seals of the artist.
This leaf is based on the story of Liu Kuan (120–85 BCE), a man whose benevolence was legendary. Liu’s wife wanted to test her husband’s good nature and instructed her maid to deliberately spill a bowl of hot soup on his official robe—just before he was to meet the emperor—in order to provoke a reaction. Surprisingly, Liu did not become enraged; his only concern was whether the hot liquid had burned the maid’s hands.Subject matter
This is one of a set (1983/2.155, 1983/2.156, 1983/2.157, 1983/2.158).Primary Object Classification Unbound Work Primary Object TypeleafAdditional Object Classification(s)PaintingCollection AreaAsianRights
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robes (main garments)
women (female humans)