Portrait of a Woman in White: Lu Meiniang

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to He Chong (傳)何充 (active ca. 1078-1085)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 14th century
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 116.5 x 42.1 cm (45 7/8 x 16 9/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1917.114
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
China, Daoist Immortals, portrait, woman, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance

To 1917
Li Wenqing (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, to 1917 [1]

From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Li Wenqing, in New York, in 1917 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1160, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Voucher No. 18, December 1916.

[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

Label

Lu Meiniang (Eyebrow Maiden Lu) was a concubine of the Tang emperor who later became a Daoist immortal. Allegedly she was born with long, threadlike eyebrows--hence her name. With a sheer white robe and the gauze cap of a Confucian scholar, Lu is dressed in the attire common among Tang court ladies. The slender proportions of the figure and sharp angular brushstrokes of the drapery folds reflect the influence of late Northern Song figure paintings.



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. .
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. 4 vols., Oxford and New York. .
  • Song Dynasty Paintings Project. multi-volumed, . .
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 1, no. 25.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 250.
  • Eli Lancman. Chinese Portraiture. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo. pl. 23.
  • Jacques Gernet. Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276. Daily Life Series; 7 London. pl. 6.
  • William Cohn. Chinese Painting. London and New York. pl. 65.
  • Kinjiro Harada. The Pageant of Chinese Painting. Tokyo. pl. 104.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Paintings in American Collections. Annales du Musee Guimet. Bibliotheque d'art. Nouvelle serie. II Paris and Brussels, 1927-1928. pl. 94.
  • Osvald Siren. A History of Early Chinese Painting. 2 vols., London. vol. 2, pl. 30.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. p. 49, pl. 203.
  • Agnes E. Meyer. The Charles L. Freer Collection. vol. 12, no. 2 Brooklyn, August 1927. p. 76.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Figure Painting. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 45, pp. 178-181.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.