Lofty Scholar in Autumn Woods

Artist: Chen Mei 陳枚 (ca. 1694-ca. 1745)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, late 1730s-mid 1740s
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 106 x 92.5 cm (41 3/4 x 36 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

autumn, China, landscape, path, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), scholar, tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

A native of Songjiang, Jiangsu Province, Chen Mei moved while young to the imperial capital at Beijing, where he studied the styles of Song and Yuan dynasty (10th-14th century) masters, and became known for the polish and exquisite detail of his small landscapes. In 1726, he was appointed as a painter at the imperial court, where he continued to serve into the 1740s. During this time, Chen Mei came into contact with European styles of painting, which had been introduced to the Qing court by Jesuit painter-missionaries. While Chen's themes, compositions, and brushwork remained entirely traditional, his manner of using washes and shading to achieve atmosphere and three-dimensionality, and his modeling of rock formations to resemble the effects seen in printed engravings, such as the landforms in the foreground of this painting, were clearly influenced by Western art.

Published References
  • James Cahill. Pictures for Use and Pleasure: Vernacular Painting in High Qing China. Berkeley and Los Angeles. pp. 63-64, fig. 2.21.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. p. 253.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.