Three Horsemen Riding under Willows

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254-1322)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 15th century
School
Zhe School
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 186.2 x 95.1 cm (73 5/16 x 37 7/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.163
On View Location
Freer Gallery 13: Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
China, horse, landscape, man, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), tree
Provenance

To 1909
Loon Gu Sai, Beijing, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loon Gu Sai, Beijing, in 1909 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 621, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. According to Ingrid Larsen, "'Don’t Send Ming or Later Pictures': Charles Lang Freer and the First Major Collection of Chinese Painting in an American Museum," Ars Orientalis vol. 40 (2011), Loon Gu Sai was possibly Lunguzhai, a store in the antiques district of Liulichang.
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)

Loon Gu Sai (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Reflecting the wealth and privilege of their high social class, three aristocratic equestrians race through an open forest glade, engaged either in training or sport and clearly enjoying their sleek, well-fed steeds. This is probably a surviving portion of a much larger work. All three horsemen look to the left, where the focus of the original composition used to be. Earlier paintings of the same sort suggest their common origin in the tenth century. Certain stylistic qualities of this work, such as the flat rocks in the foreground rendered in wide strokes of ink, define it as a product of the middle years of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

Published References
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Paintings in American Collections. Annales du Musee Guimet. Bibliotheque d'art. Nouvelle serie. II Paris and Brussels, 1927-1928. pl. 53.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. p. 248.
  • "明画全集 第二十卷 第一册 佚名." The Complete Works of Ming Dynasty, Volume 20, Volume 1, Anonymous. Hangzhou, China. p. 273-277, fig. 45.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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