Dec 8, 2009
Dec 8, 2009
Dec 8, 2009

Five Pine Trees

Five Pine Trees



Li Shan 李鱔

(Chinese, c. 1686–1762)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Image: 199.9 x 94.3 cm (78 11/16 x 37 1/8 in.); Overall: 260 x 98 cm (102 3/8 x 38 9/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1976.112


Did you know?

The writing among the branches illustrates the kinship between painting and calligraphy.


Li Shan was born into a family of scholars and officials in Yangzhou. The wealth and status of Li's family assured him an educational and cultural advantage, including his appointment at court. The subjects Li Shan chose to paint—orchids, bamboo, pines, and flowers—reflected his literati background. Five Pine Trees, painted late in his career, is an unconventional work. Rather than having focused on a realistic treatment of the subject, Li created the trees with an interplay of richly modulated strokes, while he utilized a semicursive script among the branches to illustrate the kinship between painting and calligraphy.

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