Move to Main Content
Mobile Menu Button

Painting Animation: Imitating Zhao Bosu's "Latter Ode on the Red Cliff"

  • #Painting
  • #New media art


Imitating Zhao Bosu's Illustration of the Latter Red Cliff

  • Wen Zhengming (1470 - 1559), Ming dynasty
  • Handscroll, ink and color on silk, 31.5 × 541.6 cm


Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), a native of Changzhou (modern Suzhou), learned painting from Shen Zhou, tracing his style back to the Yuan dynasty and becoming one of the Four Ming Masters. This work from 1548 is based on Su Shi's "Latter Ode on the Red Cliff," depicting Su Shi and his two friends returning to the Red Cliff with wine and fish. It is done in light blue-and-green, similar to the literati blue-and-green mode of the Yuan artist Zhao Mengfu, while the structure and piling of mountains and tree branches and leaves reveal Wen's own style. Wen Jia's colophon at the end says the original by Zhao Bosu belonged to a Suzhou scholar. An official wanted it for Grand Secretary Yan Song's son, but the owner was unwilling to part with it. As a result, Wen Zhengming encouraged his friend not to anger such a high official and did this imitation for him.