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Lü Ji (ca. 1429-ca. 1505), Autumn Shoals and Waterfowl, Ming dynasty.

Hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk, 177.2 x 107.3 cm.

On a hazy and misty autumn evening, a partial bright moon appears suspended in the skies above. Four bean geese rest on a bank with hibiscus and reeds; three have already fallen asleep as another cries out at the moon. The brushwork in painting the birds and flowers in this work is fine but not stiff, while the rendering of the slope is sketchy yet complete. Not only does this work portray geese resting at night, it also shows the habit of one of the geese standing guard over the others. The painting likewise conveys the coolness of an autumn evening while serving as a means for the artist to lodge the various emotions of a certain time and scene. In terms of technique, this work thus demonstrates Lü Ji's ability to fuse fine and sketchy manners, being a representative example of his grasping both mood and atmosphere. Text and images are provided by National Palace Museum