black rock; roughly Y-shaped; attached to reddish wood stand

Scholar's Rock, 19th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

This large, upright scholar's rock has a diagonal profile with two large overhangs dramatically balanced on a small foot. The black ling-pi stone is moderately wrinkled and textured drawing most of its aesthetic effect from its powerful overall form. Its size and shape would have made it a focal point in most libraries and it likely was placed on the floor or study pedestal rather than on a desk or table.

The balance of nature is an important Taoist tenet. A rock such as this, with its heavy upper massing and seemingly precarious balance is in fact an emblem for the natural balance of forces in nature and the harmony we are all meant to seek. Rocks of this size, often referred to as "floor stones", were typically set on the floor or a low pedestal rather than on tables.

Scholar's Rock
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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black rock; roughly Y-shaped; attached to reddish wood stand