Friday, July 21, 2006

Donkey Rider

Donkey Rider
Originally uploaded by serapio.
The donkey rider is a frequent element in Song dynasty monumental landscape painting, such as the works of Guo Xi, "Li Cheng, and Fan Kuan. According to Peter Sturman, the professor of my undergrad art history class, the donkey rider is an icon of a failed literati, modeled after Meng Haoran and Du Fu. Li Cheng is believed to have seen himself as the donkey rider. The donkey rider is a talented poet, artist and philosopher who is nevertheless unsuccessful in the civil service examinations or falls out of favor with the imperial court, and takes up a reclusive itinerant life in the countryside.


Matthew Carroll said...

Does the Donkey Rider ever have a side kick, you know, his own "Sancho Panza"?

serapio said...

The donkey rider does usually have a servant boy traveling with him, but he has to walk behind him, and doesn't get to wear any armor.

Matthew Carroll said...


That reminds me: Did you hear the story of the Spanish nobleman who struggled valiantly against the turbine blades to escape via the propeller shaft of the capsized oceanliner?

They called the movie Poseidon Quixote.