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

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

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Birds on a branch

  • Description

    Born in Fujian, Hua Yan (1682-1756) spent most of his life in Yangzhou, eastern China. He has been regarded as an important member of the group of eccentric artists associated with the Yangzhou School. Like other eccentric artists, Hua Yan is known for rejecting orthodox ideas about painting in favour of an expressive and individualist style. In this painting, Hua Yan abadoned the conventional method of depicting birds' static profile and instead focused on capturing the birds' different positions, as well as branches moving in a gentle breeze. The inscription reads 'In the wind above the field, groups of birds are twittering in the rain.'

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia China (place of creation)
    1682 - 1756
    Hua Yan (1682 - 1756) (artist)
    Material and technique
    ink and colour on silk
    mount 55.7 x 40.7 cm (height x width)
    page 37.3 x 25.7 cm (height x width)
    painting 28.5 x 20.5 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
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    No. of items
    Credit line
    Purchased, 1960.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 30 on p. 54, p. 42, illus. p. 54 fig. 30


    • Second floor | Room 38 | China from 800

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