Aug 28, 2012
Aug 28, 2012

Brush Holder with Figures in Landscape and Poetic Inscription by Wang Meilin from Jiading

Brush Holder with Figures in Landscape and Poetic Inscription by Wang Meilin from Jiading



Wang Meilin 王梅邻

(Chinese, active c. 1825)

Carved bamboo

Overall: 16 x 12.4 cm (6 5/16 x 4 7/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1988.75


This bamboo brush holder shows a scholar inside a mountain retreat under trees. On its back side, a cliff inscribed with a text by the Tang poet Bai Juyi (772–846) describes the carefree life of a scholar among family and servants in the countryside.

The text in cursive script style calligraphy (xingshu) says:

A ten-acre [home], a five-acre yard with a water pool, and a thousand bamboos. Don’t say the field is narrow, or the location remote. It is enough to accommodate the knee and rest the shoulder. It has a hall and a yard, a bridge and a boat. It has books and wine, songs and string [instruments]. An old man in the midst of it, his white beard flowing. [He] is moderate and satisfied, has no demands and needs. Like a bird he chooses a branch, builds a nest, and rests at ease. Like a fish in a swamp, that does not know how wide the ocean is. . . . All I like, lies before me. I drink a cup of wine from time to time, recite a [poem], wife and children play, chicken and dogs are at leisure, and I will grow old here.

See also
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Carved bamboo

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