Three Friends of Winter: Pine, Bamboo, and Plum in Chinese Painting

August 12, 2001 – January 20, 2002

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Gallery 13 Floor Plan

In China, evergreen bamboo, pine, and plum trees are traditionally associated with winter and also closely identified with the scholar in private life. Known as the scholar's "three friends of winter" these symbols are often shown together or alone in Chinese paintings. Examples of the many different styles that developed between the 13th and the 18th centuries to depict these plants are presented in the 1st exhibition on this subject at the Freer. Translations of poems inscribed on some of the paintings by successive owners, including the eminent Chan (Zen) monk Yishan Yining (1247-1317), are also included.