Wang Shilu Releasing Cranes in the Shade of a Willow

Bian Yongyu depicts Wang Shilu under a willow tree. He is at leisure with a feathered fan in one hand and a wine cup in the other. His robes lay loose across his chest and a serving-boy is at the ready to refill his master’s cup. Another young servant snoozes while hiding in front of a rock. In the background, four cranes fly to their freedom against a backdrop of a mountain peak. A lotus-studded stream meanders from the foreground into the distance. The painting has heavy, bright pigments.

Outside label: inscription: title; signature; seals (one).

Maker(s)
Artist: Bian Yongyu (1645-1712)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, ca. 1670
Medium
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 139.6 x 48.9 cm (54 15/16 x 19 1/4 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1989.60
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
China, crane, fan, mountain, portrait, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), river, water, willow tree, wine, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Bian Yongyu depicts Wang Shilu under a willow tree. He is at leisure with a feathered fan in one hand and a wine cup in the other. His robes lay loose across his chest and a serving-boy is at the ready to refill his master's cup. Another young servant snoozes while hiding in front of a rock. In the background, four cranes fly to their freedom against a backdrop of a mountain peak. A lotus-studded stream meanders from the foreground into the distance. The painting has heavy, bright pigments.

Outside label: inscription: title; signature; seals (one).

Inscription(s)

(Stephen D. Allee, 1995) Outside label, in x script: Bian Lingzhi hui Wang Xiqiao liuyin fanghe tu zhizhu; guiyou dahan hou sanri, Youhuilu chongzhuang (Wang Xiqiao releasing cranes in the shade of a willow, hanging scroll painted by Bian Lingzhi; remounted at/by Youhuiliu [?], three days after 'great cold' in the guiyou year [ca. late January, 1814/1874/1934?]); no signature or seals.

Artist's title, one column in seal script: Xiqiao xiansheng liuyin fanghe tu (Master Xiqiao releasing cranes in the shade of a willow).

Artist's signature, in standard script: Menren Bian Yongyu jin hui (respectfully painted by your pupil, Bian Yongyu).

One seal of artist: chen Yongyu yin (square intaglio).

Marking(s)

One seal

Published References
  • Fine Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy. New York, November 30, 1988. lot 88, Sale 6718.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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