Henan Museum
Set of scrolls depicting reeds and geese, by Bian Shumin
Edit: acf
Time: 2020-05-13 10:27:16
Period: AD 1745 (Qing dynasty, 10th year of the Qian Long reign period)
Provenance: Acquired from another collection
Measurements: 206×650cm

AD 1745 (Qing dynasty, 10th year of the Qian Long reign period)
Acquired from another collection

Bian Shoumin(1684-1752)was originally called Bian Weiqi. His style name was Yigong, and his personal names included Jian Seng (the Gradual Monk)and Weijian Jushi (the Recluse Amidst the Reeds). He was a native of Shanyang in Jiangsu (modern day Huai'an). He was one of the Qing dynasty Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou. This work employs the splashed ink method in painting reeds and geese. Sparse brushstrokes convey the subjects grace and illustrate the reeds myriad forms, all alongside a sense of carefree play amidst the landscape and plants.

According to written histories of painting, in order to observe the reeds and geese in detail Bian Shoumin would on occasion position himself amidst the reeds and mingle with the geese. Thus the reeds and geese depicted by his brush are true to life, in both form and spirit. On the left hand side of the final piece in this series, the artist penned his own colophon. It reads: The clear lake and soaring flock, painted by Bian Shoumin, in the Calligraphers Cottage Amidst the Reeds in Shanying, on the fifth of October 1745(the date is given according to the Chinese lunar calendar, as the 5th day of the 10th lunar month, in the 10th year of the reign of Emperor Qian Long). There are also three negative legend seals that read: ‘Yigong, Shoumin and Weijian Ren (Man Amidst the Reeds)’. Bian produced this piece at 61 years of age. Expertly painted with highly varied brushwork, it is the finest of Bian Shoumin's later work.