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Copyright
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In the Spirit of Li Bai's Poetry

Accession Number
2006/1.120

Title
In the Spirit of Li Bai's Poetry

Artist(s)
Chang Ku-nien

Object Creation Date
1975

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

Dimensions
24 7/16 in. x 15 3/4 in. ( 62 cm x 40 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Cheng-Yang and Mrs. Shirley Chang

Label copy

This is one of Chang’s later paintings in the centuries-old literati (amateur scholar artist) mode in which he was trained. As in White Clouds (adjacent), he uses a splashed-ink technique. Both the subject (landscape) and the division of the picture plane into three zones (foreground, misty middle ground, and hazy background of distant mountains) are traditional. The vigorous brushstrokes and vibrant colored washes of the foreground, however, are characteristic of his later work.
Though the renowned poet Li Bai (701–762) was a popular subject in Chinese painting and poetry for hundreds of years, Chang may have felt a more personal connection to him. Li Bai studied and had full command of the literary tradition, which he used to create his own style. Similarly, Chang’s early work shows a mastery of traditional techniques and subjects that were the basis of his later innovations. 

Subject matter
This illustrates Li Bai's poem which describes an extensive view of the jade-like river running through mountains and a solitary boat coated in sun shine sailing on the river.

Physical Description
Green mountains create the edge of a river. Red flowers grow on the hill framing the scene in the right corner, and two boats sail the waters below. In the upper center of the painting is calligraphic text.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
flowers (plant components)
hanging scrolls
ink
literary theory

2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Chinese Calligraphy and Ink painting 
(Part of: Chinese calligraphy and ink painting)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved