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Album leaf; ink and color on Song paper
Image: 25.5 x 20.2 cm (10 1/16 x 7 15/16 in.); Overall: 33 x 24.3 cm (13 x 9 9/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1966.31.8
The figure in the boat scans the cliff seeking a glimpse of a final plum blossom of the season.
This album leaf was probably created in 1695 for a friend Shitao had traveled with to visit ancient sites along the Qinhuai River from the Six Dynasties period. A tiny figure in a boat looks up in awe toward rising mountain masses that form an overhanging cliff, perhaps an image for the overwhelming history of Nanjing.
Shitao was born two years before the Ming dynasty fell. A descendant of the first Ming emperor, he later lived in Nanjing, Yangzhou, and Anhui province. Despite his affiliation with the Ming imperial family, he met the Qing dynasty Kangxi emperor twice.
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