Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

A catalogue of the Ashmolean collection of Chinese paintings by Shelagh Vainker (published Oxford, 2000).

Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford by Shelagh Vainker

Publications online: 222 objects

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Lily, rock, and dragonfly

  • Description

    A garden rock takes up the key role in the composition of this fan painting. The four aesthetic qualities of rocks – thinness, openness, perforations, and wrinkling – are highly regarded among Chinese scholars, who have collected, appreciated, and painted rocks for over 1000 years. A rock is not only a garden miniature to the grand peaks in nature, but also an expression of the owner’s personality. As a balance to the ‘bony’ texture of the rock, the lily and the red dragonfly are painted in the renowned ‘boneless’ style (see also [EA1964.234]), in which the soft touch of a brush lends an almost transparent effect to the fragile petals and wings.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia China (place of creation)
    19th century (1801 - 1900)
    Liu Baoru (active 19th century) (artist)
    Material and technique
    ink and colour on paper
    mount 40.3 x 55.3 cm (height x width)
    painting 18.6 x 53.3 cm sight size (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Purchased, 1966.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 2.26 on p. 230, illus. p. 231 fig. 2.26


    • currently in research collection

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