Retinue of the Minister of Water

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Artist: Attributed to He Cheng 何澄 (1224-after 1315)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, early 14th century
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 49.9 x 263.5 cm (19 5/8 x 103 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


baimiao style, China, Daoism, demon, Shuiguan, water, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To 1917
Probably Wanyan Jingxian (circa 1848 - circa 1927-29), Beijing, to 1917 [1]

From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), probably purchased from Wanyan Jingxian, through Seaouke Yue (You Xiaoxi) (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, and Pang Lai Chen (Pang Yuanji) (1864-1949), Shanghai, in Detroit in 1917 [2]

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


[1] 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), pg. 28 and pg. 38 (notes 146 and 147), Pang Yuanji and Seaouke Yue were paid a commission by Charles Lang Freer for facilitating the sale of five objects (F1917.183- .187) belonging to a "Peking gentleman." Larsen presents evidence and infers that Wanyan Jingxian was likely the unnamed Peking gentleman. See also, Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1179, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
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)

Wanyan Jingxian (C.L. Freer source) circa 1848 - circa 1927-29
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


To learn more about this and similar objects, visit 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. .
  • Marsha Weidner University of California. Painting and Patronage at the Mongol Court of China, 1260-1368. Ann Arbor, Mich. pls. 79-81.
  • Lennert Gesterkamp. The Heavenly Court: Daoist Temple Painting in China, 1200-1400. Leiden. fig. 21.
  • Marsha Weidner. Ho Ch'eng and early Yuan dynasty painting in Northern China. No. 39. p. 8.
  • Sun Tzu. The Art of War: An Illustrated Edition., revised edition. Boston. p. 25.
  • Hsu Pang-ta. Yu kuan Ho Ch'eng ho Chang Wo. no. 11. pp. 53-55.
  • Sarah E. Fraser. Performing the Visual: The Practice of Buddhist Wall Painting in China and Central Asia 618-960. Stanford, CA. p. 126, fig. 3.11.
  • Thomas Lawton. Chinese Figure Painting. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 38, pp. 156-159.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. pp. 194-195.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum