Magpies and Hare

Ts'ui Po (fl. 1 lth century), Sung dynasty (960 1279)
Ink and color on silk. Hanging scroll. 193.7 cm x 103.4 cm

Ts'ui Po, was a native of Haoliang, Anhwei province. His style name was Tzu-hsi. He excelled at painting birds, flowers and animals. During the reign of Jen-tsung (A.D. 1023-1063), Ts'ui Po was summoned to paint a screen for the Imperial Audience Hall. The Emperor was so pleased that he appointed Ts'ui Po a Scholar in the Painting Academy.
The painting depicts two magpies with outspread wings and craning necks, one having alighted on a branch, the other still hovering in mid air. A spotted hare squats dumbfoundedly with lifted head and wrinkled nose at the bottom of a dry ditch. An old chestnut tree with crumpled leaves, some brambles and a stalk of bamboo complete the landscape.

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