Bamboo in the Wind, after Su Shi

Artist: Wu Zhen 吳鎮 (1280-1354)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 1350
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 109 x 32.6 cm (42 15/16 x 12 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

bamboo, China, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance research underway.

Three columns of calligraphy in cursive script complement a single spray of bamboo bending in the wind.  The arc of the bamboo is emphasized by the repetitive, bladelike strokes used to render the leaves.

Wu Zhen, one of the Four Great Masters of the Yuan Dynasty, is particularly renowned for his ink paintings of bamboo.  In his inscription, Wu Zhen states that he painted this work after seeing a stone engraving of a similar painting by the Song dynasty artist and poet Su Shi(1037-1101).

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Published References
  • The Confucian Persuasion. Stanford, CA. frontispiece.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 253.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. vol. 6: pl. 51.
  • Arthur Mu-sen Kao. The Life and Art of Li K'an. Ann Arbor. fig. 59.
  • Sungmii Lee Han. Wu Chen's "Mo chu p'u": Literati Painter's Manual on Ink Bamboo. Ann Arbor. fig. 64.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 1: cat. 82.
  • Chung kuo ming hua chi / Zhongguo ming hua ji [Famous Chinese Paintings). 40 vols., Shanghai, 1923-1930. cat. 1, pl. 4.
  • Chinese Dynasties. .
  • Ch'en Ch'ing-kuang. Wu Chen: A Painter of the Yuan Dyansty [Yuan tai hua chia Wu Chen]. Taipei. p. 242.
  • Richard Edwards. The Field of Stones: A Study of the Art of Shen Chou (1427-1509). Oriental Studies Series, no. 5 Washington, 1962. pl. 2 A.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 62, vol. 1: p. 62.
  • Archibald Gibson Wenley. "A Spray of Bamboo" by Wu Chen. vol. 8 Honolulu, 1954. pp. 7-9.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Seventh Presentation of the Charles Lang Freer Medal. Washington, 1983. p. 26, fig. 11.
  • Chiang I-han. Teng-yu: A Late 14th Century Taoist Painter and his "Bamboo and Rock". vol. 7, no. 4 Taipei, Summer 1973. pp. 49-86, pl. 8.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 51.
  • James Cahill. Wu Chen: A Chinese Landscapist and Bamboo Artist of the Fourteenth Century. Ann Arbor. pp. 185-187, pl. 37.
  • George J. Lee. Chinese Art Society of America: A Review. vol. 8 Washington and Zurich. p. 319.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.