Bird and Bamboo
Ming dynasty, about 1633–1703
This Multicoloured woodblock print on paper depicts a bird preening on a rock.
The album leaf is from the Ten Bamboo Studio Collection of Calligraphy and Painting, one of the earliest picture collections in China to be printed in colour, and the first that successfully imitated the art of the brush.
The manual is named after the Ten Bamboo Studio in Nanjing, the residence of the scholar Hu Zhengyan (1584–1674). Hu compiled calligraphy and paintings of past and contemporary scholar-artists and entrusted a team of skilled artisans with the carving and printing of these images in eight volumes. The page is among a group of prints in the British Museum that are considered to be among the earliest and finest imprints of existing versions from the original blocks.