Poetry, painting, and calligraphy: Known as the “Three Perfections,” these genres were the ultimate expressions of Chinese literati culture during the Ming dynasty (1369–1644). Members of the Wu School earned admiration for their interpretations of these art forms. Opening April 16, "Painting with Words" celebrates Wu School works, examining the relationship between their imagery, brushstrokes, and, especially, words.
A stag, a doe, and red camellias in snow | Zhou Yuan (mid to late 14th century) | Ink and color on silk | Yuan or Ming dynasty | 1367 | Gift of Charles Lang Freer | Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | F1911.282
During the Ming dynasty, garden building was in ascendance, and the painter Shen Zhou often created works showing himself and his contemporaries in garden settings. Here he has revived an earlier style of painting associated with Wang Meng, whose wiry brushwork is featured in this scroll.| Landscape in the style of Wang Meng | 1491 | Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427-1509) | Ming dynasty | Ink and color on paper | China | Purchase | Freer Gallery of Art | F1956.28