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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Orchids Bending in the Wind

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Orchids Bending in the Wind



Chinese, ? - after 1349

The beauty of this painting lies in the fact that the monk painter Xuechuang has vividly represented the subtle movement of the leaves under breeze. Without showing details of the upper side and underside of the leaves, he shows the twist and turn of the leaves by varying the pressure of the brush. Moreover, the leftward motion, which was often a challenge for many right-handed artists, did not pose any problems for Xuechuang, further showcasing his skills.
Ink on silk
Overall: 66 1/4 x 22 15/16in. (168.3 x 58.2cm)
Image: 30 3/8 x 17 15/16in. (77.2 x 45.5cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: Tomioka Tessai (1835-1924), Kyoto, Japan; Mayuyama & Co., Ltd. Tokyo
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryMunich, Germany, Haus der Kunst, 1000 Jahre Chinesische Malerei (1000 Years of Chinese Painting), 1959 (The Hague, the Netherlands; Zurich, Switzerland; Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Art Museum [organizer], 1960).

Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Art, Chinese Art Under the Mongols: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), 1968 (New York, New York, Asia Society, Inc., Asia House Gallery, 1969).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective, Dec. 22, 2007 - July 26, 2009.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Luminous: The Art of Asia, October 13, 2011–January 8, 2012.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Conceal/Reveal, Dec. 20, 2014 - June 21, 2015.

Published ReferencesCahill, James. "An Index of early Chinese Painters and Paintings: T'ang, Sung and Yuan." Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. p. 319 (under "P'u-ming")

Cahill, James. "Hills Beyond a River: Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279-1368." New York: Weatherhill, 1976. Plate 76 ("Orchids, Bamboo, Tree and Rock"); pp. 161-162.

"Chinese Art Recently Acquired by American Museums," in the Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America, Vol. 5 (1951), p. 70-77, illus no. 21.

"Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting." Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1980. Plate 85 ("Bamboo in the Wind")

Fong, Wen C., et al. "Images of the Mind." Princeton: The Art Museum, Princeton University, 1984. p. 289 ("Orchid, Bamboo and Rock")

Harada Kinjiro, Nihon Genzai Shina Meiga Mokuroku, (Tokyo, Otsuka Kogeisha, 1938): 110.

Haus der Kunst Munchen, Sherman E. Lee, and Roger H. Goepper. 1000 Jahre chinesische Malerei, #35, 1959: 60, 61.

Huggins, Mabel Irene, “Orchids in Chinese Antiques,” The Antiques Journal 24, May 1969, Antiques Publications: 10.

Huggins, M., “The ‘Four Gentleman’ of Chinese Art,” Antiques, June 1962: 624.

Kokka國華. Tokyo, Kokkasha 國華社, June 1949, #687: 3.

Lee, Sherman E., and Wai-kam Ho. Chinese art under the Mongols: the Yuan dynasty, 1279-1368. [Cleveland]: Cleveland Museum of Art; (Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1968) #245: 48-49.

Lee, Sherman E. "The Colors of Ink," pl. 16, p. 112, pp. 14-15

Mayuyama, Junkichi. Mayuyama, seventy years = Ryusen shuho: sogyo shichijusshunen kinen. (Tokyo: Mayuyama Ryusendo, 1976), vol. II: 85, pl.173.

Ottenberg, Simon. "Sources and Themes in the Art of Obiora Udechukwu," in African Arts, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Summer 2002), pp. 30-43, 91-92, image 11 p. 36

Seattle Art Museum, Henry Trubner, William Jay Rathbun, and Catherine A. Kaputa. Asiatic art in the Seattle Art Museum: a selection and catalogue. (Seattle: The Museum, 1973): 174, #132.

Seattle Art Museum, Handbook.1951: 72.

Simon Ottenberg, Asian Arts. (rights & reproduction requested in 2000/2001) [An unverifiable source].

Shih-hua, Lu. "Wu yueh so chein shu hua lu," preface dated 1776

Sirén, Osvald, Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles, (New York: Ronald Press, 1958), vol.VII: 129.

Suzuki, Kei. "Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings." Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1983. Volume 5 (Indexes) p. 538 (under "Xuechang").
specifically, see: A17-037, A22-038, JM5-018, and JP8-018.

Toda, Teisuke and Hiromitsu Ogawa. Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings: Second Series. (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1998): A55-030, I-362 and I-261, cat. #A55-029.

Zheng, Zhenduo, Yuwai Suocang Zhongguo Guhua Ji 域外所藏中國古畫集, vol. III, (Shanghai, Shanghai chuban gongsi, 1947): 22.

Zhang, Xi. Masterpieces of Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties Collected Overseas. Hangzhou: Zhejiang University Press, 2011; p. 233, reproduced pl. 160.

Giuffrida, Noelle. Separating Sheep from Goats: Sherman E. Lee's Chinese Art Collecting in Postwar America. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018; p.64, reproduced fig. 35.

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