Wind in the Courtyard Pines

Small rocks, trees and tall pines rendered in ink and light color appear in the foreground. In the middle portion of the composition a scholar attended by a servant is seen leaning against a railing. Behind the scholar is a low couch with a small screen and a plain, concave ceramic (?) pillow at one end. Through the window at the right, another servant can be seen arranging objects on a table. Plants and ducks in the inner courtyards are visible through the open doorways. A narrow horizontal band of blue fabric hangs above the rolled spotted bamboo blinds. Tile roofs, wooden framework and pine trees form a dramatic pattern in the upper section of the painting.

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Zhao Boju (ca. 1120s-ca.1162)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 16th century
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 93.1 × 56.4 cm (36 11/16 × 22 3/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Collection of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer. Gift of Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.2
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), pine tree, wind, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Shi Minggu (1434-1496), Wujiang, Jiangsu province. [1]

To 1916
Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), Shanghai. [2]

From 1916 to 1970
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), New York, NY, Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased from Pang Yuanji in 1916. [3]

From 1970 to 1998
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz (1914-2001), Armonk, NY, by descent from her mother Agnes E. Meyer.

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz. [4]

Notes:

[1] The Ming connoisseur Shi Minggu’s collector seal is located on the painting.

[2] The painting was published and illustrated in Pang Yuanji’s catalogue, Antique Famous Chinese Paintings Collected by P’ang Lai Ch’en, vol. 1 (Shanghai, Privately published by Pang Yuanji, 1916), no. 23: “Ts’ao Po Chü [Zhao Boju], Pines in the Court.” A seal with Pang Yuanji’s study name, Xuzhai, is located on the paining.

[3] In 1916 Pang Yuanji, with the assistance of Pang Zanchen and Seaouke Yue, sent a group of paintings illustrated in Antique Famous Chinese Paintings Collected by P’ang Lai Ch’en catalogue to New York and showed them to Charles Lang Freer. See 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), p. 23. Freer made a selection of paintings for his collection and advised Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer as well as Louisine Havemeyer with their acquisitions. Freer’s copy of the 1916 Pang catalogue includes penciled annotations indicating that this painting was purchased by Agnes E. Meyer.

[4] See Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz’s Deed of Gift, dated February 5, 1998, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Shi Minggu 1434-1496
Pang Yuanji 1864-1949
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz 1913-2001

Description

Small rocks, trees and tall pines rendered in ink and light color appear in the foreground. In the middle portion of the composition a scholar attended by a servant is seen leaning against a railing. Behind the scholar is a low couch with a small screen and a plain, concave ceramic (?) pillow at one end. Through the window at the right, another servant can be seen arranging objects on a table. Plants and ducks in the inner courtyards are visible through the open doorways. A narrow horizontal band of blue fabric hangs above the rolled spotted bamboo blinds. Tile roofs, wooden framework and pine trees form a dramatic pattern in the upper section of the painting.

Marking(s)

In the upper right corner of the painting is an impression of the small two-character seal Shaoxing - each character enclosed within a separate square. A seal with these two characters was used by Gaozong (reigned 1127-1162), the first Southern Song ruler; Shaoxing was the last of Gaozong's three reign-titles (1131-1162). All but one of the eight characters in a large rectangular at the lower left are decipherable: Wujiang Shi Minggu shending. Shi Minggu (Shi Jian 1434-1496) was a well-known Ming dynasty connoisseur who had a large number of early calligraphies and paintings in his collection. Another large rectangular seal, this one having six characters: Yangchaotang shuhua yin, affixed in the lower right corner of the painting provides a studio name; this seal also may belong to Shi Minggu.

A small rectangular six-character seal reading, Xuzhai shending mingji, affixed in the lower right corner of the painting provides the studio name Xuzhai, indicating that the scroll originally was in the collection of the Shanghai collector, Pang Yuanji (1864-1949).

Published References
  • Pang Yuanji. Tang Wu dai Song Yuan ming hua: Wuxing Pang shi cang [Antique Famous Chinese Paintings: Collected by P'ang Lai Ch'en]. Shanghai. pl. 23.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 236-237.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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