Lotus and Dragon Fly

Creation date
Modern {Chinese period}
ink and color on paper
Mark Descriptions
seal: Bai Signed: Baishi made (zuo)
26 1/8 x 13 3/8 in. (image) 36 13/16 x 16 9/16 in. (overall)
Credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irving Y. Lo
Accession number
Not Currently On View


Although the lotus is well known as a sacred Buddhist symbol, it also has connotations of longevity, health, elegance, and nobility. Another association is the seventh month, or summer, as suggested here through the addition of the dragonfly.

Qi Baishi was best known for his spontaneous and energetic painting style. Due to illness, he could not work in the fields with the rest of his family in rural Hunan, and he was apprenticed to a carpenter. Though he lacked formal education, he gained a deep knowledge of painting, calligraphy, poetry, and seal-carving—all pursuits that identified him as a traditional Chinese literatus, or scholar-gentleman.

First maternal cousin of Irving Lo*. Mr. & Mrs. Irving Lo (1945); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art ini 2007.

*(Lena's email of 5/16/07: I know the one of lotus and dragonfly because I was there when Irving's first cousin on his mother's side handed the scroll to Irving. This cousin's father owned a Chinese pharmacy and was wealthy enough to collect the best in Chinese art. The cousin wanted Irving to have something from his family as a wedding present when we were in Foozhou in l945)
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