Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren survived the military conquest of his dynasty and lived as a Buddhist monk for 30 years before emerging into fame as a professional artist. His storied life leaves many questions unanswered, and his masterpieces of painting and calligraphy are renowned in Chinese art for their daring idiosyncratic approaches to style, composition and meaning. On view June 20–Jan. 3, 2016, at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, “Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626–1705)” features 43 of the artist’s works, on public display for the first time in more than a decade. “Enigmas” is the final exhibition of the Freer’s celebrated collection of Chinese

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