Hanging scroll; ink and slight color on silk
Painting: 138.2 x 75.2 cm (54 7/16 x 29 5/8 in.); Overall with knobs: 232.5 x 96.3 cm (91 9/16 x 37 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1974.45
Xu You wears a laborer's sandals and short robe with leggings tightly wound around his legs.
The subject of this painting, Xu You, is an ancient worthy and reclusive figure who, when offered the throne by the legendary emperor Yao, refused it and became a farmer under Mount Ji. And when the emperor offered him a post overseeing the Nine Territories (as China was known in ancient times), he went to the River Ying to cleanse his ears from such an unwelcome proposition. This painting portrays Xu You by the side of a river, calm and composed.
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