The Lofty Hermit of Plum Creek

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

  • Material

    Ink on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W: 74.1 x 33.8 cm (29 3/16 x 13 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Wang Hui (1632-1717)
  • Description

    The painting shows a scholar in a rustic hut beneath the pines by a river. In the distance there are mountains and a waterfall, and the moon is in the sky.
    The full moon is depicted above the valley and waterfall. Wang Hui did the painting for Tan-hsia, who is included in the scene, contemplating a crane in the yard of his hut.
  • Inscriptions

    The artist inscribed the painting in the upper left, giving it a title, "Mei-hsi kao-yin", and dedicating it to someone he calls Tan-hsia tao-chang (unidentified). The inscription is dated the last month of the year ting-mao (although the year ting-mao mostly corresponds to 1687 in the Western calendar, the last month would fall into 1688 by Western reckoning). Two seals follow Wang Hui's signature, reading Wang Hui chih yin and Shih-ku.
  • Provenance

    To 1960
    Chen Rentao (1906-1968), Hong Kong, and Frank Caro, C. T. Loo & Co., New York, to 1960 [1]
    From 1960 to 1979
    Department of Treasury, U. S. Customs Service [2]
    From 1979
    Freer Gallery of Art, from October 23, 1979 [3]
    [1] This object is one of a group of 88 objects (F80.104-F80.180, FSC-S-22-25 and FSC-O-11a-h) seized in 1960 by the U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury, from the dealer and collector Chen Rentao, Hong Kong and Frank Caro of C. T. Loo & Co., New York.
    The objects were deemed to have been introduced into the commerce of the United States in violation of 19 U.S.C. 1592 (Trade with Communist China).
    [2] See note 1. The object’s ownership title is based on the settlement agreement, dated November 1971, between the United States, Chen Tung Siang Wen, the executrix for Chen Rentao Estate, and Frank Caro, copy in object file.
    See U.S. Customs Service Memorandum, April 23, 1979 and a letter from Thadeus Rojek, Chief Counsel, Department of the Treasury, U.S. Custom Service, to Marie C. Malaro, Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution, dated November 29, 1979, copy in object file. The objects remained in the custody of the U.S. Customs Service office in New York until 1979.
    [3] The object was transferred to the Freer Gallery of Art on October 23, 1979.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (IV) (June 12 to November 28, 2010)
    Chinese Arts of the Brush, 17th - 18th Century (January 21 to July 22, 2001)
    Chinese Paintings: Recent Accessions (March 20, 1982 to October 13, 1982)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Chen Rentao 陳仁濤 (1906-1968)
    Frank Caro (1904-1980)
    U.S. Customs Service
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Transfer from the United States Customs Service, Department of the Treasury
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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