Lotuses and Ducks, attributed to Hui Chong

  • China
  • China, Southern Song period
  • 13c
  • Hanging scroll,color on silk, fan shaped
  • H-24.7 W-26.6
Catalogue Entry

China, Southern Song dynasty, 13th century
Hanging scroll, color on silk, fan shaped
Height, 24.3cm; width, 27.0cm

A luxuriant expanse of lotuses and reeds grow at water's edge, with their thin and round leaves blowing in the wind. Lotus blossoms peep out from the shade of the leaves, and a flight of ducks circle around the plants. This skillful placement of the subject elements to align with the circular format of the fan shape adds a sense of flowing movement to the scene. The lotus leaves convey ink's particular ability to blot and spread, and the various colors used to pick out the details of the ducks' feathers provide a splendid fusion of ink and color.

This painting has been traditionally attributed to the early Northern Song painter Huichong, known for his small scenes with water fowl, but the work displays a subtle harmony of realism and decorativeness that would suggest that it is a fine work from the Southern Song dynasty.
A collector's seal (red letter square) has been impressed on the painting. MN