Chrysanthemum in Vase

Artist: Qi Baishi 齊白石 (1864-1957)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, mid-20th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 99.5 x 33.3 cm (39 3/16 x 13 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Bequest from the collection of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai, donated in their memory by Mr. Shao F. Wang.
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, chrysanthemum, Modern period (1912 - present), Shao F. Wang collection, still life

To 1997
Wang Fangyu (1913-1997) and Sum Wai (1918-1996), to 1997 [1]

To 1998
Shao F. Wang, New York and Short Hills, NJ, by descent, to 1998 [2]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Shao F. Wang in 1998


[1] According to Curatorial Note 3, Joseph Chang, May 7, 1998, and Joseph Chang, August 18, 1998, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Shao F. Wang
Wang Fangyu 1913-1997
Sum Wai 1918-1996


Chrysanthemums, prized for their vivid colors, are among the most cultivated flowers in China. One of the few flowers to bloom in the autumn months, when others are wilting, the chrysanthemum is beloved by recluses. The celebrated poet Tao Yuanming (365-427) popularized the image of chrysanthemums as "hermit" flowers by adopting them to symbolize his life as a retired scholar who shunned the hypocrisy of government service. Qi Baishi, a modern master, updated many themes of the ancient masters of Chinese painting with his own highly personal style. Here, his inclusion of a vase (ping) is a conceit that refers to harmony.

Published References
  • 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. 262-263.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
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