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Liu Jun has been praised by a recent critic as being "perhaps the single most innovative and influential figure painter of the mid-Ming court." His subjects are generally important people, ranging from didactic narratives involving famous emperors or venerable scholars to the ever-popular immortals, such as these four of the Eight Immortals.
Liu's landscape style borrows elements from the paintings of the Southern Song Academy (about 1200), and his figure style, characterized by fine details with heavily modeled areas of skin to emphasize volume, is reminiscent of Yuan dynasty artists of the early 1300s.
In many cultures throughout time and around the world, the dance of cranes was considered special and people imitated that dance.
Private collection, Japan; (James Freeman, Kyoto); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2006