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Stone in the Gardens of Suzhou Stones are piled into rockeries and used as revetments along garden streams. Large specimen stones, such as the Cloud Capped Peak in the Lingering Garden, are prominently displayed in courtyards. Smaller specimen stones are carefully fitted to wooden trays for display on long, high tables—a stone version of penzai. Thinly sliced stones with veining that resembles paintings of mountains are hung on walls or sit in frames that stand on a scholar’s desk. This wide-ranging appreciation of stone was outlined in a third-century b.c.e. text in which “weird rocks,” guan shi, are sent to the mythical emperor Yu. Two-thousand-year-old historical records include mention of stones being sent in tribute to China’s emperors. As Graham Parkes notes, “the Chinese veneration for stone in its natural , unworked state is unparalleled in its intensity and range. . . . At first a prerogative of the imperial families, enthusiasm for stone spread subsequently to the literati, and it remains widespread in the culture to this day.” 160 stone in the gardens of suzhou Figure 104. Pavements are often comprised of small pieces of gray granite, softly rounded river stones, and thin ceramic roofing tiles. Figure 105. Tai Lake limestone is porous, craggy, and grayish-white. Figure 106. Tall, thin, green jadestones are often exhibited in bamboo groves. 162 stone in the gardens of suzhou Figure 107. Huangshan yellow stone is cubic, angular, and orange-yellow—often with veins of purple. ...


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