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Wu Zifou 吳自孚
(19th century)

“Scholar’s Retreat”

Hanging scroll, ink on silk
161.3 x 42.0 cm. (63 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.)

“The brushwork of Meihua daoren (Wu Zhen), followed here by Wanhua,
the Old Fish in the Stream, Zifou.”
梅花道人画法 浣華谿老漁自孚擬之

Artist’s seals:
Wu Zifou 「呉自孚」; Wan ? 「浣?」

Collector’s seal:
One, partially illegible

Above a foreground river stands a secluded house with scholar looking out from an upstairs window; mountains rise precipitously from the middle ground and extend into the far distance. This bucolic scene is anything but quiet, however, for the surface of the painting is greatly enlivened by slashing brushwork and strong contrasts of light and dark ink, some strokes perhaps created with the fingers rather than the brush of the artist.

Wu Zifou, zi Wanhua, was from Xiuning in Anhui province. Capable in poetry, his landscapes and bird-and-flower compositions were all held to manifest wondrous craftsmanship.

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