Sketches from Life

Huizong (1082-1135)AD 960-AD 1279

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

A monkey and infant are sitting on and chained to an odd and archaic bluish-green ornamental garden rock. Next to them are vegetables ( a cabbage plant ) and insects ( a long-horned beetle and a cicada ). Each takes up an individual part of the handscroll. Though they compositionally appear to have little to do with each other, they suggest a richness in life and this painting. The coloring and brushwork is quite heavy yet still somewhat elegant, being related to the auspicious style of “ piled brocade” painting found at court. Though this work bears the cipher of the Song emperor Huizong (1082-1135) along with his seal and inscription in his famous “slender gold script”, these all appear to be later additions.


  • Title: Sketches from Life
  • Creator: Huizong (1082-1135)
  • Date Created: AD 960-AD 1279
  • Physical Dimensions: 39.5x52.4
  • Type: Handscroll
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink and colors on silk
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty

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