Small Birds and Morning Glories

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

  • Period

    early 18th century
  • Geography

  • Material

    Ink and color on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (overall): 32.2 x 48.5 cm (12 11/16 x 19 1/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Jiang Tingxi (1669-1732)
  • Calligrapher

    Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711-1799)
  • Decorator

    Wooden covers carved by Wang Youdun (1692-1758)
  • Description

    A painted fan depicting a clump of morning glories in opaque color behind a garden rock. Two small birds perch on one branch; one of them watching a ladybug crawling on a twig. On the reverse side is calligraphy by the Qianlong emperor.
  • Signatures

    Painting signed by the artist: "Respectfully painted by your servant Chiang T'ing-hsi."
  • Marks

    Two seals of the artist follow his signature: "Ch'en T'ing-hsi" and "Kung-hui".
    Two seals of the artist follow his signature: "Ch'en T'ing-hsi" and "Kung-hui".
  • Inscriptions

    Reverse of the fan bears the calligraphy of the Ch'ien-lung emperor (r. 1735-1796) in running script. The text is a poem in eight lines of seven characters each; dated 1794.
  • 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

    Winged Spirits: Birds in Chinese Painting (February 11 to August 5, 2012)
    Chinese Bird and Flower Painting (December 17, 1993 to May 31, 1994)
    Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (II) (May 9 to December 6, 1993)
    Chinese Bird and Flower Painting (January 27, 1986 to June 30, 1986)
    Chinese Paintings: Recent Accessions (March 2, 1984 to August 2, 1984)
    Chinese Flower Paintings (March 18, 1983 to September 22, 1983)
    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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