Archive for 30 Days in Arts

Day 11-Coral snuff bottle

Coral snuff bottle

Coral snuff bottle

From China
Qing dynasty, 18th century AD

Long life and fertility

Coral, the calcium-like deposit left by certain marine animals, has been used as a material in China for more than 2,000 years. The Chinese particularly admired coral for its colour variations, fine veins and glossy surface. They also prize the stone for its associations with longevity.

This double snuff bottle is made in the form of conjoined gourds. The gourd has been used as a container since the earliest times, because of its naturally impermeable skin. In China, it connotes longevity. One of the Eight Daoist Immortals is identified by the gourd he always carries. Double gourds are especially treasured as symbols of fertility.

This double snuff bottle is decorated with auspicious symbols. The bat, a symbol of good fortune, is carved in relief here, along with single gourds and leaves. The gourds have pink glass stoppers.

Coral snuff bottles from the eighteenth century are relatively rare. This finely carved double bottle exemplifies the exquisite craftsmanship of that period.

J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

Day 10-Third Stone Drum Poem

Third Stone Drum Poem

Excerpt from the Third Stone Drum Poem in seal script


Wu Changshuo , (Chinese, 1844-1927)

Modern period

Ink on paper

W: 45.1 cm


Day 9-Landscape by Dong Qichang

Landscape Dong Qichang

Landscape by Dong Qichang, a hanging scroll painting

China, AD 1555-1636

This example of a hanging scroll by Dong Qichang (1555-1636) shows a clear structure, combined with balance and movement. It is divided into a foreground, with four mountain areas in the middle and background as well as sub-divisions. The viewer’s eye is drawn upwards from the foreground to the top peak. The lines of trees and the ink dots showing vegetation mark the contours of the landscape.

Dong developed a theory of art history which greatly affected later painting. He traced the Southern school of scholar-amateur painting back through the Four Masters of the Yuan and Juran to the Tang poet and painter Wang Wei (699-759). The writing in the top right corner is a quotation by Wang Wei: ‘The voice of the torrent gulps over jagged stones; Sunlight hardly warms the bluish pines.’

J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992),_a_h.aspx

Day 8-Summer



Artist: Xin Song


Handmade ricepaper

32″ x 26″

Day 7-Tapestry


Tapestry (kesi) of peonies and other flowers


Song dynasty

Kesi tapestry woven with polychrome silk threads

H: 86.8 W: 37.5 cm


Day 6-Bamboo in Snow

Bamboo in Snow

Bamboo in Snow

late 13th-early 14th century

Tan Zhirui , (Chinese, late 13th-early 14th century)

Yuan dynasty

Ink on paper

H: 40.6 W: 59.4 cm


Day 5-Wang Jiqian

Wang Jiqian

Wang Jiqian [C.C. Wang] Chinese (1907 – 2003)

Landscape, 1972 (renzi year)


Ink on paper; with dated signature of the artist reading “Renzi wuyue Wang Jiqian”

H. 54.6 x W. 70.3 cm (21 1/2 x 27 11/16 in.)

frame: H. 81.3 x W. 95.9 cm (32 x 37 3/4 in.)

Signed: Renzi wuyue Wang Jiqian (Fifth month of the renzi year [1972], Wang Jiqian)

Creation Place: New York City, New York, United States

Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Edmund Chi Chien Lin art


Day 4-Buddha, Tang Dynasty


Buddha, Tang dynasty

(A.D. 618-907), c. 725/50

Limestone with traces of polychromy

Height: 219.7 cm (86.5 in.); Diameter: 111 cm (43.7 in.)

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, 1930.83

Day 3-Banshan type jar

Banshan type jar

Banshan type jar

5000-2000 B.C.E.

Neolithic period

Earthenware with iron pigments

H: 25.8 W: 29.1 cm


Day 2-Orchid



early to mid-20th century

Qi Baishi, (Chinese, 1864-1957)

Modern period

Ink on paper

W: 60.9 cm