Mandarin Ducks under Smartweed

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Xu Xi (active mid-10th century)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 16th century
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 181.8 × 76.7 cm (71 9/16 × 30 3/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.192
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
bird, bird and flower, China, duck, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)
Provenance

To 1909
Loong Shing Company, Hong Kong, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loong Shing Company, Hong Kong, 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. 647, 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)

Loong Shing Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

A pair of mandarin ducks huddle together on the bank under the tall smartweed. Mandarin ducks, among the most beautiful of all ducks, are always found in pairs. Therefore, they are the most favorable and frequent symbol of conjugal felicity in China. In the upper portion of the composition there is another pair of song birds; one in the air flying toward the other one, which is perched on the smartweed. This is an excellent Ming painting based on a Sung composition, with an interpolated signature of the tenth-century master Hsu Hsi.

Published References
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. vol. 2: p. 95, vol. 3: pl. 215.
  • Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 2: Early Chinese Art, pl. 218.
  • Osvald Siren. A History of Early Chinese Painting. 2 vols., London. vol. 2, pl. 20.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 250.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Paintings in American Collections. Annales du Musee Guimet. Bibliotheque d'art. Nouvelle serie. II Paris and Brussels, 1927-1928. pl. 118.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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