Advent Calendar Day 7

Painting of an old man riding a donkey

Man on a donkey, and calligraphy

Huang Shen was born to a poor family in Fujian province in southern China, where he spent his youth and the later part of his life. 

During his middle years he made his home in the thriving city of Yangzhou and was among the individualist painters known as the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou. He was famous for his poetry, cursive calligraphy and painting. 

His paintings of elderly scholars and figures from Chinese history and this album page of an elderly scholar riding his donkey with his boy servant by his side is typical of his work. He was also known for his landscapes and paintings of birds and flowers. 

Shen's early, meticulous style gave way in maturity to a rough, splashed ink technique, which proved highly lucrative in the prosperous mercantile environment of Yangzhou.

Chinese script and a donkey ridden by an old man

Man on a donkey, and calligraphy
Huang Shen (1687–1772)

Ink and colour on paper
35 x 27 cm