Washing the Feet (from the Dusty World)

Washing the Feet (from the Dusty World)

1570

Wen Boren

(Chinese, 1502-1575)

Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper

Image: 170.2 x 79.4 cm (67 x 31 1/4 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1997.103

Description

A scholar on a boat in the middle ground bathes his feet in the cooling stream. The vast river scene is depicted from a high viewing point. The motif of a scholar washing his feet illustrates the phrase, “When the waters of the Canglang are clear, I wash my capstrings. When the waters of the Canglang are muddy, I wash my feet [only]” (from Songs of Chu, written before 256 BC). The passage evokes the image of the virtuous scholar-official who avoids government service when the ruler is corrupt (the rivers are muddy) and resumes service (washing my capstrings) when the waters are clear. Whether the artist here alludes to unfavorable times of government is not clear.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.