Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Painting: 112.6 x 52.2 cm (44 5/16 x 20 9/16 in.); Overall (no knobs): 231 x 70.5 cm (90 15/16 x 27 3/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1999.6
Xugu inscribed his painting on the right, dedicating it to a Mr. Youshan. Two additional inscriptions by other writers were added later, each time the painting changed owners.
The loquat is a plant native to China that produces a juicy, yellow fruit in early summer. The artist may have intentionally extended the branches beyond the paper to emphasize the abundance of fruit. Xugu’s subjects of flowers, goldfish, and loquats express wishes for abundance and wealth, and must have appealed to his patrons.
Xugu gave up his career as a military official during the Taiping rebellion (1850–64) and became an itinerant monk who painted for a living. He spent the later years of his life in Shanghai and his fame as an artist is associated with that city.
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