four paintings mounted as two hanging scrolls; crabs crawling amid leaves and stems; inscriptions in ULC

One Hundred Crabs, 1835

Ink on paperexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2002.4.3a,b

Not on Viewexpand_more

Tall reeds bend gracefully over a bank of grass while a host of crabs scuttles along the water’s edge, pincers held high. The crab was a standard subject of paintings, and like bamboo and orchid lent itself to expressive brushwork. Originally mounted as four hanging scrolls, this composition has a panoramic effect—difficult to achieve in the single, hanging-scroll format.

The shorter of the two inscriptions reads:
One hundred crabs,
Set free in river or lake
They come and go as they please.
Reeds continue through the end of spring
And the fragrant mayweed through autumn;
Throughout their lives they are unwilling
To lower their paired eyes,
Hoping to see to the end of the pure
And sometimes muddy stream.

Painted and inscribed by Zhao Guangqi during an autumn month in 1835

Details
Title
One Hundred Crabs
Artist Life
1786 - 1847
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2002.4.3a,b
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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four paintings mounted as two hanging scrolls; crabs crawling amid leaves and stems; inscriptions in ULC