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Chinese Literature
Zhupu 竹譜 "Notes on Bamboo" (by Li Kan 李衎)


There are several books with the title of Zhupu 竹譜 "On Bamboo". The first is a book from attributed to the Southern dynasties period 南朝 (420~589) author Dai Kaizhi 戴凱之 (see Dai Kaizhi's book Zhupu). The other is a book written by the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) author Li Kan 李衎. The is a third book with the title of Zhupu written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Chen Ding 陳鼎. The book Sunpu 筍譜 by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) monk Zanning 贊寧 is sometimes also referred to with the title Zhupu.
Li Kan's ten juan "scrolls" long book on bamboo painting is the result of a long personal experience of painting. Li Kan, courtesy name Li Zhongbin 李仲賓, style Xizhai daoren 息齋道人, came from Jiqiu 薊丘 (modern Fengtai district 豐臺 in Beijing) and was a Grand Academician (daxueshi 大學士) in the Jixian Hall 集賢殿. He was granted the title of Duke of Ji 薊國公, with the posthumous title of Duke Wenjian 文簡公. Li Kan was a disciple of the painter Huang Dan 黄澹. In 1264 he arrived in Qiantang 錢塘, where he was able to admire the paintings of the famous artists of Wenzhou 文州 and Huzhou 湖州, and was inspired to specialize on the painting of bamboo. Li Kan has also written the treatises Huazhu 畫竹 "Painting bamboo" and Mozhu 墨竹 "Depicting bamboo with ink". His paintings witht the titles of Siqing 四清 "The four pures", Mozhu 墨竹 "Bamboo in ink" and Shuangsong 雙松 "Two pine trees" have survived.
The Zhupu was originally 20 juan long, but the length of each scroll was reduced in later editions. It is accompanied with a preface and is divided into four chapters. The chapter on the qualities of bamboo is the most detailed. It describes six various types (pin 品 "qualities") of bamboo, the shape of leafs and stalks, its colour, and extraordinary shapes. His descriptions are illustrated with the help of pictures that show how leafs are bent and nodes are shaped. Yet these descriptions only show extraordinary types or species of bamboo, not the normal appearance.
Li Kan's Zhupu is included in the collectanea Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Shuofu 說郛, Wangshi shuhua yuan 王氏書畫苑, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Meishu congshu 美術叢書 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.


Sources:
Gou Cuihua 茍萃華 (1993). "Zhupu tiyao 竹譜提要", in: Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, Shengwu juan 生物卷, vol. 1, pp. 59-61. Ed. Ren Jiyu 任繼愈/Gou Cuihua 茍萃華. Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1806. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.


Contents
Zhupu xianglu 竹譜詳録 Detailed notes
Hua zhu 畫竹譜 Painting bamboo
Mo zhu 墨竹譜 Painting bamboo
Zhutai 竹態譜 Properties of bamboo
Zhupin 竹品譜 Kinds of bamboo: Quande 全徳品 Full correspondence
Zhupin 竹品譜 Kinds of bamboo: Yixing A 異形品上 Different shapes 1
Yixing B 異形品下 Different shapes 2
Yupian yun bing xiao zhu 玉篇云並小竹 Smaller bamboos mentioned in the encyclopedia Yupian
Yise 異色品 Different colours
Shenyi 神異品 Strange things
Si shi er fei zhu 似是而非竹品 Plants looking like bamboo which are not bamboo
You ming er fei zhu 有名而非竹品 Plants called bamboo which are not bamboo
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail