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A hundred flowers

Ju Lian1828/1904

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Ju Lian learnt painting under his cousin Ju Chao. Entitled "A Hundred Flowers", this long handscroll measures over six hundred centimetres and is one of the masterpieces among his extant works. This monumental work is rendered with a comprehensive composition which is exquisitely executed and meticulously coloured with vividly depicted flowers. The elegant bird-and-flower tradition, which prospered in the Song Painting Academy, was refined by Chen Chun (1483 - 1544) of the Ming dynasty and further improved by Ju Lian's special techniques - the zhuangfen and zhuangshui, or "water and pigment infusion" method. Based on the traditional "boneless" method (painting without outlines), Ju deposited water and pigment onto the wet painted surface. It then dried to form a clearly defined boundary, similar to the effect of the outline method. This painting is one of the best examples of the aforesaid techniques.

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Details

  • Title: A hundred flowers
  • Date Created: 1828/1904
  • Theme: Flowers
  • School: Lingnan School
  • Physical Dimensions: w617 x h36.5 cm
  • History of Acquisition: Acquired by the Museum in 1983
  • Chinese bird-and-flower painter: Ju Lian
  • Artist's Biography: Ju Lian, alias Guquan, a younger cousin of famous bird-and-flower painter Ju Chao (1811 - 1865), was a native of Panyu. He was also a bird-and-flower painter who emphasized the importance of the observation and sketching of objects in nature. He learnt painting from Song Guangbao (active in early 19th Century) and Meng Jinyi (? - ca.1848) and developed his own style. Ju Lian and Ju Chao were renowned as the "Two Jus". Ju Lian specialized in the application of the techniques of zhuangshui (water infusion) and zhuangfen (powder infusion). His palette was vivid, rich and bright. Ju Lian was one of the earlier painters who openly recruited students, including such later, prominent masters as Wu Deyi (1864 - 1928), Gao Jianfu (1879 - 1951) and Chen Shuren (1884 - 1948). Gao and Chen were founders of the Lingnan School of Painting.
  • Type: Ink and colour on silk

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