Landscape with Gibbons and Cranes

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Artist: Formerly attributed to Qiu Ying 仇英 (ca. 1494-1552)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 18th century
Ink and color on silk
Blue-and-green style
H x W (image): 27.7 x 271.1 cm (10 7/8 x 106 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


blue-and-green style, China, crane, flower, gibbon, landscape, pine tree, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), river

To 1904
Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), Kidderminster, England, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Michael Tomkinson in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Reserved Makimono List, R. 452, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.This object exhibits seals, colophons, or inscriptions that could provide additional information regarding the object’s history; see Curatorial Remarks in the object record for further details.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Michael Tomkinson (C.L. Freer source) 1841-1921
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Gibbons and cranes have a long history as auspicious symbols in Chinese literature and art. Since the Zhou dynasty (1100-221 B.C.E.), gibbons have been associated with wise men, although in many famous poems the shrill calls of gibbons were said to induce deep melancholy in weary travelers. This handscroll features a total of eighteen gibbons, frolicking in a colorful forest and shown with two cranes. This fanciful depiction of gibbons is rendered in the opaque "blue and green" style that prevailed in landscape painting during the Tang dynasty (618-907) and was later revived from time to time owing to its decorative appeal.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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