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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder

Crane, Pine and Bamboo

Accession Number

Crane, Pine and Bamboo

Ren Xun (Jen Hsün)

Object Creation Date
circa 1860-1887

Medium & Support
ink on paper

56 3/8 in x 15 7/16 in (143.19 cm x 39.21 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art

Label copy
Ren Xun studied painting with his elder brother Ren Xiong (1823–1857), whose work is also on view in this gallery. Ren Xiong’s son Ren Yu, his distant nephew Ren Yi (whose work is also on display), and the two brothers are known as the “Four Rens,” who dominated late nineteenth-century painting in Shanghai. When Ren Xun was twenty-two years old his brother died and he continued to build his artistic career, eventually becoming famous throughout the Yangzi River region. He remained active until around 1887, when his eyesight began deteriorating.
Ren Xun was best known for painting birds and animals. His dramatic brushwork may be seen in the calligraphic lines of the bamboo in the background, which contrast boldly with the controlled ink washes of the crane’s plumage. To suggest the cold season, Ren Xun uses orange pigment to depict the needles of the pine tree positioned between the bamboo and the crane. Pine and bamboo are symbols of longevity and the crane is a symbol of immortality, making this painting appropriate for a birthday or New Year’s gift. 

Fall rotation 2016

Subject matter
Ren Xun, best known for painting birds and animals, was the younger brother of Ren Xiong’s (1823–1857). This elegant painting of a crane, a symbol of immortality, and pine and bamboo, symbols of longevity, is appropriate for birthday or New Year’s gifts. To suggest the cold season, Ren Xun chose orange pigment to depict the pine needles.

Physical Description
This painting inculdes the seal of the artist Ren Xun. A crane stands in the foreground, with it's head and beak turned toward the viewer, revealing a patch of orangish red on its face. A pine tree arches across the background above.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
bamboo (material)
bird-and-flower paintings
birds (motifs)

& Author Notes

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