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Early 20th Century Chinese Calligrapher's Dream Painting

About

Given its strange hybrid forms, you'd be tempted to consider this ink painting an example of Chinese surrealism. In fact, this intriguing work on paper precedes the avant-garde European art movement by several decades. Instead this rare image from around 1900 stems from the erudite traditions of Chinese literati. A mix of gestural and carefully drawn lines, the work describes the curious events of a calligrapher’s dream. The painting is arranged in the shape of the Chinese character (xìn), meaning letter or note, each figure standing in for a brush stroke. The artist appears as a heron perched upon a branch of plum blossoms, his human head wearing a necklace dangling an empty frame. He faces a large bird holding a slip of paper in its beak, as if proffering the calligrapher poetic inspiration to fill his empty frame.

Details

  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1900
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 38.75 in. x W 25.5 in. x D 1 in.H 98.43 cm x W 64.77 cm x D 2.54 cm
  • Seller Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Seller Reference Number
    CMT148
  • Reference Number
    LU820013919302
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About the Seller

4.9 / 5
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Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2006
Located in Chicago, IL
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