carved bamboo root, prunice and pine (?)

Brushrest, early 18th century

This brushrest is a recognized masterpiece of Shen Chuanlin, whose square seal is carved into the side of the work. Meticulously fashioned from bamboo root, the piece features a finely detailed blossoming plum branch and a spray of bamboo, two plants that symbolize scholarly virtue. The miniature sculpture can support three brushes simultaneously. Brushrests allowed painters to set down a wet brush so its bristles would not touch a table or stain paper. Artists made brushrests from a variety of materials, including stone, metal, and ceramics. This refined example, executed in "organic taste" (an appreciation for natural forms) emphasizes contemplative communion with nature.

Artist Life
active 18th century
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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carved bamboo root, prunice and pine (?)