Ten Thousand Li Along the Yangzi River

Panoramic landscape along the Yangzi River (Chang Jiang). 240 locations inscribed in red on painting. 2 colophons and 23 collectors’ seals in total.

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Artist: Formerly attributed to Juran (傳)巨然 (active 960-986)
Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, mid-12th to early 13th century
Ink on silk
H x W (image): 43.5 x 1656.6 cm (17 1/8 x 652 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


China, dragon, landscape, river, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279)

Possibly Duanfang (1861-1911), China [1]

To 1911
Loon Gu-sai, Beijing, to 1911 [2]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loon Gu-sai in 1911 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] See Curatorial Remark 6, James F. Cahill, 1958, in th eobject record.

[2] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 702, 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.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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) and Custodian(s)

Loon Gu Sai (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Duanfang 1861-1911


Panoramic landscape along the Yangzi River (Chang Jiang). 240 locations inscribed in red on painting. 2 colophons and 23 collectors' seals in total.


One of the earliest surviving paintings to depict the full length of the Yangzi River, this long handscroll--measuring around sixteen and a half meters (54 feet)--shows a bird's-eye view of the river from its source in the Min Mountains to the Yellow Sea. Place names written in red ink allow the painting to serve as a kind of map. As with most traditional Chinese maps, south is at the top and north at the bottom; east, or downriver, is at left, while west, or upriver, is at right.

Flowing sixty-three hundred kilometers (3,780 miles) through eight Chinese provinces and ending at the port city of Shanghai, the Yangzi is among the longest and mightiest rivers on earth. Modern geographers place its source in the Central Asian plateau of Qinghai Province, while Chinese tradition considers the Min River in Sichuan Province to be its starting point. From the confluence of these two main branches in central Sichuan, the Yangzi rushes eastward to the Wu Mountains, where it surges through magnificent canyons--collectively known as the Three Gorges--on its descent to the flatlands below. The river then proceeds at a more stately pace, passing large lakes and joined by numerous tributaries, until it finally enters the sea.

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit http://www.asia.si.edu/SongYuan/default.asp Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Published References
  • Mary M. Mcdonald. It Draws Me: The Art of Contemplation. .
  • Wen C. Fong, Jerome Silbergeld. Bridges to Heaven: Essays on East Asian Art in honor of Professor Wen C. Fong. 2 volume set, Princeton. .
  • Maps: Finding Our Place in the World. Chicago. fig. 12.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1 (1982 ed.): pp. 234-235.
  • Nakata Yujiro, Fu Shen. O-bei shuzo Chugoku hosho meiseki shu [Masterpieces of Chinese Calligraphy in American and European Collections]. 6 vols., Tokyo, 1981-1983. vol. 5 (1983): pls. 81-82.
  • Alice Rosemary Merrill. Wen Chia (1501 - 1583): Derivation and Innovation. 2 vols. Ann Arbor. pl. 131a.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Paintings in American Collections. Annales du Musee Guimet. Bibliotheque d'art. Nouvelle serie. II Paris and Brussels, 1927-1928. pl. 82.
  • Otto Kummel. Die Kunst Ostasiens. Berlin. pls. 46-47.
  • Kinjiro Harada. The Pageant of Chinese Painting. Tokyo. pls. 49, 50, 51.
  • William Cohn. Chinese Painting. London and New York. pl. 43.
  • Otto Fischer. Chinesische Landschaftsmalerei., 3rd ed. Berlin and Vienna. pl. 48.
  • Sonya S. Lee. Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan. Seattle, WA, March 15, 2022. p. 52, fig. 1.18.
  • James M. Hargett. Stairway to Heaven: A Journey to the Summit of Mount Emei. SUNY series in Chinese philosophy and culture Albany. p. 62.
  • Paul S. Ropp. China in World History. New York. p. 80.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Der Ferne Osten. Kunst im Bild Baden-Baden. p. 147.
  • Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717). Exh. cat. New York and New Haven. p. 150, fig. 121.
  • , Lessing J. Rosenwald, James Cahill. The Early Illustrated Book: Essays in Honor of Lessing J. Rosenwald. Washington. p. 154, fig. 4.
  • Views of the Yang-tzu Kiang, attributed to Chu-jan. vol. 21, no. 250 Tokyo, March 1911. pp. 252, 263-2644, 328-336, see remarks.
  • Otto Fischer. Die Kunst Indiens, Chinas und Japans. Propylaen-Kunstgeschichte, IV Berlin. p. 491.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
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