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  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Illustration of scene from Ode on the Red Cliff.
    Fan painting - Illustration of scene from Ode on the Red Cliff. by Zhou Li (1736-1820)

    Illustration to the Ode on the Red Cliff with men in boats beneath the cliff face. Zhou Li, pen name Mushan, was from Jiading in Jiangsu province. He was a long-lived artist who worked in the tradition of the orthodox tradition of Wang Hui and Yun Shouping. Recent research on Zhou Li exemplifies the gradual process through which information on a minor artist accumulates. An album leaf by him was published a few years earlier, and a comparison of the signature and style shows it to be by the same hand. Despite information in a dictionary that states he lived in the Kangxi and Yungzheng eras, the associations in that other album and in this fan show him to have worked a century later Such comparisons, along with other information found in the inscriptions, slowly begin to create an image of the artist and his work. One hopes that as other collections such as this one are published, more works by these artists will emerge. Here again is the theme of the Odes on the Red Cliff, with the iconic boat carrying scholars draws near to a cliff topped by pine trees that lean out over the water. The scene is painted with restrained brush strokes, indicative of the artist's classical training.