The Lingnan School

Fig. 6. Handscroll continued from page 13. Fig. 9. Crystal bottle. Collection of Mary and George Bloch. verse, we see GanSalternative form of script, a precisely written clerical script, with elegant variation in the thickness of line and the frequent use of oblique terminal strokes (fig. 10). It is signed simply Gan Xuan– wen. There are two seals on the face, and two on the reverse, none legible. This is standard for Gan's in– side-painted works, where the size of the seal is so diminished to keep Fig.lO. Reverse of bottle in figure 9. scale with the painting and calligra– phy that there is hardly scope for legibility. Of his entire recorded snuff bottle output, only two bottles bear legible seals. The precise date appears in the left-hand line of cal– ligraphy, preceding the signature. Our only other recorded dated bottle is a bizarre painting from the second year of Daoguang, 1822, dated to the ninth, autumn, month 12 Fig. 11. Inscription on reverse of crystal bottle illustrated in figure 12. of the year-again in the left-hand column (fig. 11). Considerable faith in the mature aesthetic of re– acquired naivete in art is necessary to see this as profound painting, but these things are not defined solely on the surface of the work of art (fig. 12). The Zen master artists ofjapan could paint a Simple circle in ink that any child might be expected to match without too much good luck,