Fish and Water Weeds (魚藻圖)
Zhu Zhanji (朱瞻基, 1399-1435), Emperor Xuande (宣德, reigned 1426-1435), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Part of a handscroll, ink and color on silk, 30.2 x 132.0 cm, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
In this "painting of life subject" (寫生, xiesheng), the artist creates an underwater translucency with his skillful handling of ink wash and pale colors, depicting minnows, catfish, shrimp, and carps swimming among plants. The sense of spontaneity and freedom of movement reflect the artist's keen observation of aquatic life.