Artist: Qi Baishi 齊白石 (1864-1957)
Calligrapher: Zhou Huangxi
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1931
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 24.3 × 52 cm (9 9/16 × 20 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, fan, Modern period (1912 - present), shrimp
Provenance research underway.

The painting depicts six shrimps swimming toward the lower left corner. Qi Baishi's inscription, which includes a dedication to Mr. Zhou Huangxi, is signed Qi Huang, the name given to Qi by his teacher, Hu Zichuo, in 1889. The painting is not dated, but the inscription in the upper left, written in tiny characters by Zhou Huangxi, describes the circumstances under which Qi Baishi executed the composition for him. The inscription says:

"In the year 1931, I and Baishi both resided in Peking, visiting each other quite often. One day the old gentleman saw the white fan in my hand, laughed and said to me: 'Why not paint a few brushstrokes on it?' So he took the fan, rapidly painted several shrimp with a big brush and returned the fan to me. He seemed very pleased with his painting. The ink shrimp was the old gentleman's specialty. With just a few brushstrokes, it seemed alive. This fan painting is really one of his best examples. In the year 1961, Zhou Huangxi recorded at Qingang.'"

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Joseph Chang, Stephen Allee. Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Haftield Ellsworth. Exh. cat. Washington. p. 109.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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