The painting shown here is a modern copy of the painting, ”Loquat and White Eye Bird” from the Chinese Song Dynasty. The Song Dynasty (960 to 1279) had two distinct art styles. The Nan Song (south Song) dealt largely with contemporary society and politics. The Bei Song (north Song) largely dealt with the natural environment. The painting here is from the Bei Song. This school of art placed a strong emphasis on detail and naturalism.
I chose this painting because it reminds me of my youth. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of summer days when I would climb a loquat tree and harvest the beautiful, tasty fruits. This picture shows in detail, a small branch of a loquat tree loaded with ripe fruit. Perched at the top is bird called a white eye. The white eye’s gaze is focusing on an ant at the top of the loquat cluster. As I look over the painting, I find a second ant.
Also, true to the Bei Song school of art, the some of the leaves show insect bites and imperfections true to real life.
The dominant line of the painting follows the curved branch to draw the viewer’s eyes to the cluster of loquats. The radiating leaves to the right and to the lower left, are balanced by the loquat cluster to the left. The loquats feel as though they are growing up and to the left. A second line comes from the curve of the white eye to its gaze which points the viewer to the fine detail of the ant at the top of the loquat cluster. We can sense the movement of the bird and even begin to feel how the branch will sway from the bird and from any slight breeze.