May 19, 2006
May 19, 2006

Bamboo and Insects

Bamboo and Insects


late 1100s

Wu Bing 吳炳

(Chinese, active 1190–1194)

Album leaf; fan painting, ink on silk

Image: 24.8 x 26.8 cm (9 3/4 x 10 9/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1964.154


Wu Bing, a native of Piling, gained Empress Li’s favor and served as a painter-in-attendance at the court in Hangzhou during the Shaoxi reign (1190–94). The round fan painting shows a dragonfly hovering over a stalk of bamboo, a bush cricket (luowei) perching on a leaf, and a flying wasp.

Yellow leaf tips suggest the late summer or early autumn season. The chirping of the cricket sounds similar to the sound of a working loom; the insect is therefore also called weaving lady (fangzhi niang). The weaving season starts when the weather is about to turn cold—the cricket symbolizes early autumn.

See also
ASIAN - Album leaf
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 

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