Flowers and Blossoms

 

Flowers and Blossoms
Huang Shen (1687-after 1768), Ch'ing Dynasty
Album leaves; leaves 1, 3, 4, 6 (monochrome ink); leaves 2 and 5 (with light colors); each 33.5 x 45.9 cm


        Huang Shen, a native of Fukien province, painted landscapes in the styles of the Yuan dynasty scholar-artists Huang Kung-wang and Ni Tsan as well as Buddhist and Taoist figures. In calligraphy, he excelled at cursive script, following that of the T'ang dynasty calligrapher Huai-su. He eventually became famous for his innovations in painting, being known as one of the "Eight Eccentrics of Yangchow."

        This album of six leaves includes paintings of peach, peony, chrysanthemum, tuberose, narcissus, and plum blossoms. His innovative and personal style is seen here departing from nature to reveal quick brushwork in the cursive forms of various poses. Though unrestrained, his style still retains an aura of elegance. Huang Shen took the "sketching ideas" style to the peak of abstraction, which is also complemented by his inscription in cursive script. 

        This work was donated to the National Palace Museum by Mr. Lin Tsung-hsien.