Two Archers on Horseback

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 18th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W: 25.2 x 23.8 cm (9 15/16 x 9 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf

archery, bow, China, horse, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)

To 1911
Li Wenqing (circa 1869-1931), Shanghai to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Li Wenqing, in China, in 1911 [2]

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


[1] See Original Panel List, L. 87, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Li Wenqing (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1869-1931


This small album leaf presents a peculiar depiction of both riders and horses. The minimal detail given to the almost faceless rider in front and to the headless horse in back emphasizes the composition's awkwardness, which is heightened by the unnatural parallels formed by the horses' front legs. Moreover, the ambiguous spatial arrangement of the two horses and the feeble brushwork may very well suggest that this piece is a simple practice exercise from the hand of an enthusiastic painting student.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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