Southern Sung dynasty / Boy Leading an Ox Along the Farm Path / 13th centurySouthern Sung dynasty
Boy Leading an Ox Along the Farm Path
13th century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Role: painter
Creator Name-CRT: Southern Sung dynasty
Title: Boy Leading an Ox Along the Farm Path
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1200
Creation End Date: 1299
Creation Date: 13th century
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: ink and color on silk, oval fan
Dimensions: H.8-3/4 x W.9 in., image
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 97.83.1
Credit Line: Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton

Taoist artists saw in the buffalo and herdsman theme the basic elements of nature and its rhythms. In Chan Buddhist literature during the Sung period, the pair appear as a metaphor for the path to enlightenment. Twelfth and thirteenth century academic painters rendered the subject in soft colors and meticulously laid ink outlines like those seen here.

Utilizing a rather extreme aerial perspective, the artist provides a detailed scene of a boy leading a buffalo home at dusk along a river or large canal. They walk on an elevated path that is part of the dike system forming the rice paddies to their left. Buddhist and Taoist symbolism aside, this small fan painting is a lyrical portrayal of rural existence.

AMICA ID: MIA_.97.83.1
Component Measured: image
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: ? The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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