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Elegant Gathering at the Studio of Inebriating Ink

Hua Guan (Chinese, active second half of 18th–early 19th century)
“The Studio of Inebriating Ink” refers playfully to the sophisticated salon and gathering place of Hongwu (1743–1811), grandson of the Kangxi emperor. The unusual name refers to a quote from an eleventh-century scholar, Su Shi, who described the calligrapher Shi Cangshu becoming intoxicated from the fragrance of ink while writing, discarding his worries as if drunk on good wine. Here a gathering of renowned scholar-officials engage in the arts esteemed in Chinese literati culture—painting, calligraphy, and poetry. Two poems composed by Hongwu are inscribed following the painting. The painter of the scroll, Hua Guan, a native of Wuxi in Jiangsu province, was known for his portrayals of Manchu nobleman. He combined fine brush technique with subtle shading in naturalistic renderings, capturing not only his sitters’ outer likenesses, but also their inner characters. 

Object Details

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