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Ming herbal (painting): Stork

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Credit: Ming herbal (painting): Stork. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Painting of a stork (guan) in the meticulous (gongbi) style, in colour on silk, from Bencao tupu (Illustrated Herbal). The painted illustrations in Bencao tupu were jointly executed by Zhou Hu and Zhou Xi in 1644 (the final year of the Ming period). The explanatory texts were provided by Zhou Rongqi. The book was not completed: each volume was to have contained 14-15 paintings, but only 29 are extant. Zhou Rongqi writes: The stork resembles the crane, but it does not have a red patch on the top of its head. Its body is almost completely white, with black coloration on the tail. It has a long neck and a thick beak. It makes its nest in tall trees and flies high in the clouds. It tends to live in groups. It has a loud, resonant call. The eggs can dispel pox toxins, and the urine can be used to treat infantile convulsions (jingjue: fainting from fright/convulsion)


Stork (guan)


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