The Double Screen: Emperor Li Jing Watching his Brothers Play Weiqi

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Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Zhou Wenju (傳)周文矩 (active mid-10th century)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 14th century
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 31.3 x 50 cm (12 5/16 x 19 11/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.195
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
China, copy, emperor, game playing, go, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)
Provenance

To 1911
Loon Gu-sai, Beijing, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loon Gu-sai in 1911 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 733, 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

Li Jing, identified by his tall hat, watches two of his brothers play weiqi, while a third looks on. The board, raised on low feet, has a grid of nineteen-by-nineteen lines, the format introduced during the Tang period (618-907). Apparently the game has not progressed very far, since few pieces are visible on the board. The player on the left is about to place his piece, while the player on the right reaches with his right hand for a piece in his container, in anticipation of his move.


On the table behind the emperor are a vase and arrows for touhu (Chinese pitchpot), an arrow-throwing game popular from ancient times.


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
  • Thomas Lawton. "画中人 上海书画出版社." Chinese Figure Painting. Shanghai, China. .
  • Zhou Wenjing. Wu dai Zhou Wenju chong ping hui qi tu juan. .
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 1, no. 11.
  • T'an Tan-chiung. Chung-hua i-shu t'u-lu [Chinese Art]. Taipei. pl. 34.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: pp. 190-191.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga shi. 8 vols., Tokyo, 1981-1988. no. 120, vol. 1: p. 116, vol. 1, pt. 2.
  • Ellen Mae Johnston Laing. Scholars and Sages: A Study in Chinese Figure Paintings. Ann Arbor, 1967-1986. .
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Figure Painting. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 3, pp. 34-37.
  • Robert J. Maeda. Spatial Enclosures: The Idea of Inferior Space in Chinese Painting. New series, vol. 31, no. 4, Winter 1985-1986. p. 384.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
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