Blossoming Prunus Branch, after Wang Yüan-chang (Wang Mien)

Accession Number

Blossoming Prunus Branch, after Wang Yüan-chang (Wang Mien)

Yamamoto Baiitsu

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

41 1/8 in. x 14 1/8 in. ( 104.46 cm x 35.88 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Carter

Subject matter
This painting exemplifies one of the ways Japanese artists learned from Chinese models: it is a direct copy of a work by the Yuan dynasty artist Wang Mien. Baiitsu placed thin sheets of paper over the original and traced the contours of the branches in pale ink; then, looking at the two works side-by-side, he painted in the washes, imitating Wang’s “flying white” brush strokes. Baiitsu even copied Wang’s original inscription and seals, as well as a colophon by a later owner of the work.

Physical Description
The prunus branch depicted by Baiitsu makes use of the long vertical form provided by the hanging scroll format. The branch enters the visual field from the top right, and curves downward toward the bottom of the scroll. On either side of the branch are sections of calligraphic text.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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branches (plant components)
calligraphy (process)
flowers (plant components)
hanging scrolls

2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

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