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Original Issue


This contemplative gentleman leaning against a willow on the bank of a purling stream, attended by his servant, was painted on silk by Yang Jih-yen in the peaceable kingdom of China in the Sung dynasty 700 years ago. The spirit is philosophic, and then, as now, the fisherman could prop up his rod and pursue his own thoughts. The style of painting, monochrome on neutral ground, reached its zenith in this period.


Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.