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Yuan Dynasty – Painting by Monk Lai Yu, famous for painting fishes.




The Algae Fish Painting is a Chinese painting by the Chinese Yuan Dynasty painter Lai. The painting is in portrait orientation, Sakamoto ink, 89.6 cm long, 48.3 cm wide, and is currently in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, United States.

Monk Lai Yu. Background unknown. His paintings were usually for ornamental purposes, and he was skilled at portraying the lively expression of the fish mouth and body motion with his paintbrush. The painters of the Yuan Dynasty often gave the fish in their paintings a human personality.

In the “Algae Fish Painting”, the fish almost occupies the entire space in the picture. It seems to have just suddenly turned around to face the viewer, its mouth wide open and eyes sharp. The author carefully traces the scales of the fish with fine lines and displays the texture and three-dimensionality through blurred coloring. The water plants are painted in light ink, and the sense of movement in the picture is enhanced by the swing of the fish tail and the shaking of the water grass.

《藻鱼图》波士頓美術館(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,簡稱MFA)

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