Fukushima Company, New York 1931 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fukushima Company, New York in 1931 
 Object file, undated folder sheet note.
 See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Zhao Mengfu was the preeminent painter and calligrapher of the early Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), and one of the most versatile and subtle artists in the Chinese tradition. Balanced in mood and posture, the two animals turn their heads back toward each other to create an open but unified composition. In his inscription at the left of the painting, Zhao Mengfu states his motivation for creating this work: "I have painted horses before, but have never painted sheep [or goats]. So when Zhongxin requested a painting, I playfully drew these for him from life. Though I cannot get close to the ancient masters, I have managed somewhat to capture their essential spirit."
The seals of several Ming and Qing dynasty collectors, especially those of the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1735-95), who once owned the scroll, are applied over much of the remaining paper. Borrowing vocabulary from an ancient poem about sheep, the emperor also provided the title frontispiece at right, which reads: "Divine likeness [of sheep] in motion and repose."
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
- Noelle Giuffrida. Separating Sheep from Goats: Sherman E. Lee and Chinese Art Collecting in Postwar America. Frontis.
- Bangda Xu. Chung-kuo hui hua shih t'u lu. Shanghai. pl. 177.
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- Shane McCausland. Zhao Mengfu: Calligraphy and Painting for Khubilai's China. Hong Kong. Cover and p. 145, fig. 1.25.
- Victor H. Mair, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Paul R. Goldin. Hawaii Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture. Honolulu. fig. 93.
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- Osvald Siren. Kinas Konst Under Tre Artusenden. 2 vols., Stockholm, 1942-1943. vol. 2: p. 421, fig. 397.
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- Chang Yuan-chien. Jen ch'i t'u and the Horse and Figure Painting of Chao Meng-fu. vol. 17, nos.3-4 Taipei, July/October 1982. pl. 4.
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- Lin-ts'an Li. An Estimate of the Ch'ien-lung Emperor's Inscriptions on Chinese Painting. Taipei, Summer 1972. pp. 11-12, pl. 4.
- Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 15.
- Martha Davidson. Five Oriental Exhibitions. vol. 11, no. 5 New York, May 1939. pp. 29-32.
- Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 50.
- China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795. Exh. cat. London. p. 51.
- Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 76-77.
- T. C. Lai. Animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Hong Kong, 1979-1982. p. 94.
- Judith Burling, Arthur H. Burling. Chinese Art. New York. p. 114.
- unknown title. no. 10, January 1931. p. 150.
- Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. vol. 32, no. 2, . p. 206, fig. 27.3.
- Jacques Dars. Au gre d'humeurs oisives: Les Carnets Secrets de Li Yu, Un Art du Bonheur en Chine. Arles. p. 213.
- Chuimei Ho, Bennet Bronson. Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong. Exh. cat. London, New York, Chicago, March 12 - September 12, 2004. p. 221.
- Zhimai Ch'en. Chinese Calligraphers and Their Art. Adelaide. pp. 247, 251, fig. 74b.
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- Curtis Hansman Brizendine. Cloudy Mountains: Kao K'o-kung (1248-1310) and the Mi Tradition. Ann Arbor. p. 392, pl. 46.
- Sherman Lee. A History of Far Eastern Art. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1964. p. 403, fig. 533.
- The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China. Cambridge and New York. p. 427.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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