white bird standing on one leg in water, with some long, thin leaves around and above bird at left; received without scroll roller ends

White Egret, 12th-13th century

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The Putnam Dana McMillan Fundexpand_more  2015.11

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This hanging scroll depicts a single egret in shallow water among the reeds, the landscape shrouded in heavy mist. Feeling chilly, the water bird sinks its head into its chest and raises one leg—yet its eyes remain open, ever watchful. Liang Kai was one of the leading academic masters near the end of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). His compositions and subject matter are simple yet animated by spiritual intensity, reflecting the Chan Buddhist principles that value intuition and introspection over doctrine and ritual as paths to enlightenment. Their sketch-like qualities suggest spontaneity, individuality, and immediacy.

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Details
Title
White Egret
Artist Life
active c. 1140 - c. 1210
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.11
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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white bird standing on one leg in water, with some long, thin leaves around and above bird at left; received without scroll roller ends