Past Exhibitions

Chinese Paintings of Plants and Insects
July 20, 2016 - August 21, 2016

Depictions of seasonal plants and flowers interspersed with delicate insects were a popular painting subject for Chinese artists from the Song (960–1279) through the Ming (1368–1661) dynasties. Similar works were also made by Korean painters active around the same time. Especially famous were the plant and insect paintings made in the major production area of Piling, the ancient name for Changzhou in the Jiangnan region, located in the southern part of China’s Jiangsu province. Though some of the most famous plant and insect paintings are associated with the eminent Song and Yuan painters Zhao Chang (ca. 959–ca. 1016) and Qian Xuan (ca. 1239–ca. 1301), most were done by anonymous professional artists. Even so, these works exhibit sometimes astounding degrees of meticulousness and sensitivity in their brushwork and portrayals of the natural world.

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