Li Wenqing (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, to 1917 
From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Li Wenqing, in New York, in 1917 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1154, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Voucher No. 18, December 1916.
 See note 1.
 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
On the left side of the painting, a man appears riding a donkey along a lakeside trail. Bundled against the cold and accompanied by a servant carrying his zither (qin), the man is making a day excursion, which started perhaps from the rustic houses nestled snugly behind him at the base of towering mountains. Passing the first plum tree on the trail, he heads toward a nearby promontory, where an open-sided, thatched pavilion awaits, shaded by two large pines and other plum trees in bloom. Searching for plum blossoms first appeared as an important theme in Chinese painting during the Song dynasty (960-1279), and numerous accounts confirm that it was a common seasonal practice for scholars to make forays into the mountains to gather plum blossoms and compose poetry about their ephemeral, pristine beauty.
The left side of the painting has been trimmed, obscuring the thematic importance of the rider and perhaps removing the artist's signature. Although this work is currently unsigned, the heavy outlines of the branches and tree trunks, along with other details, such as the face of the rider and the decisive brushwork of the rock and mountain formations, show all the stylistic hallmarks of the professional artist Zhou Chen, an early exponent of the Wu School, which was centered during the middle Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in Zhou's native city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
- Published References
- Suiboku bijutsu taikei. 17 vols., Tokyo, 1973-1977. vol. 2 (1974): pl. 120.
- Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 252.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- SI Usage Statement
Usage Conditions Apply
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."