Tartar horsemen

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Artist: Zhao Lin (died ca. 1367)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 1360
Ink and gold on paper
H x W (image): 23.8 x 108.3 cm (9 3/8 x 42 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


baimiao style, China, horse, horseman, WWII-era provenance, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

Gong Ben’ang (mid-19th-early 20th century), China [1]

Wu Zhiying (1868-1934) and Lian Quan (1868-1931), by bequest from Gong Ben’ang [2]

From at least 1939 to 1940
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, from at least January 31, 1939 [3]

From 1940
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on February 21, 1940 [4]


[1] Four Gong Ben’ang’s collector seals are located on the painting. See also A. G. Wenley, “A Parallel Between Far Eastern and Persian Painting,” in Richard Ettinghausen, ed., Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst: Festschrift für Ernst Kühnel zum 75. Geburtstag am 26.10.1957 (Berlin: Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1959), p. 352.

[2] See inscription at the right side of the painting, translated as: “Foreign Horsemen, by Zhao Lin. Authenticated and collected at the Entertainment Yards (or Center for the Arts?) in the national capital [Beijing], respectfully presented by Xiaowanliutang.” The inscription is accompanied by the Xiaowanliutang signature and seal. Xiaowanliutang was the studio name of Lian Quan and Wu Zhiying. Two Lian Quan’s and Wu Zhiying’s collector seals are located on the painting. On Gong Ben’ang’s bequest to Lian Quan, see Wenley 1959, p. 352.

[3] The painting figures on “List of objects owned by C. T. Loo [and brought to] the Gallery for examination,” annotated with information that it was left at the Freer Gallery by Frank Caro on January 31, 1939, copy in object file. See also C. T. Loo’s stockcard no. 81580: “Scroll painting A. D. 1273-1368,” C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file.

[4] See C. T. Loo’s invoice, dated February 21, 1940, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Gong Ben’ang mid-19th-early 20th century
Lian Quan 1868-1931
Wu Zhiying 1868-1934
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948

Published References
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1 (1982 ed.): p. 255.
  • Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 15.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst: Festschrift fur Ernst Kuhnel. Berlin. p. 351, figs. 1a, 1b.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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