This leaf from the album "Collected Paintings by Song Artists" originally was probably a rounded fan. Once serving a functional purpose, it was later remounted as a small album leaf. The entire work, done in outlines filled with colors, depicts a single stalk of hollyhock (original title: hibiscus) with numerous buds, which are starting to blossom in order from below. Their arrangement and poses are natural and lively. The artist's merits are evident in all the brushwork for the hooked outlines of petals and the veins of serrated leaves. The areas for the stalk, calyx, and reverse of the leaves are washed with mineral and vegetable green hues, turning in a manner that is both beautiful and realistic. Although this work bears no signature or seal of the artist, its style fully exhibits the manner of exquisite and classical flower painting at the Song dynasty Painting Academy. It is thus probably from the hand of a gifted artist at the Southern Song court.
The picture has gone through high resolution image processing and professional color management, and been printed on the high-quality art paper to reproduce the original warm texture and delicate colors.
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