Reminiscences of Nanjing: Autumn Meditation

Maker(s)
Artist: Shitao (1642-1707)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1707
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 23.8 x 19.2 cm (9 3/8 x 7 9/16 in)
Geography
China, Nanjing
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.204.9
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album leaf

Keywords
autumn, boat, China, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), river, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To?
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). [1]

To 1987
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York. [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York. [3]

Notes:

[1] See object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Zhang Daqian China, 1899-1983
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987

Label

The son of a prince in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Shitao was an infant when his parents were murdered at the fall of the dynasty. His identity concealed, he was raised in a Buddhist monastery and became a reclusive monk. In the 1680s he lived in Nanjing, serving as monk-in-charge of a Buddhist temple. Ultimately, his success as a painter widened his social circle, which helped sustain him psychologically. Shitao's painting is noted for its innovative simplicity and bold vigor. This image belongs to Reminiscences of Nanjing, the album that he painted in the last year of his life. Unlike many acclaimed Chinese artists of his generation, Shitao avoided conscious imitation of earlier masters' styles. While many of his paintings are relatively unorthodox (see the other leaf from this album), Autumn Meditation is fairly traditional. In his old age, Shitao came full circle artistically and was comfortable working in both extraordinary and more customary manners. His brushwork, however, was consistently imbued with exceptional strength and vitality, which is evident here in the solid, three-dimensional form of the little skiff that Shitao painted with a single stroke.

Published References
  • Chang Wanli. Shitao shuhua ji [Selected Painting and Calligraphy of Shih-Tao]. multi-volumed, Hong Kong. vol. 4, pl. 95.
  • Richard Edwards. The Paintings of Tao-chi 1641-ca 1720: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held at the Museum of Art, University of Michigan, August 13-September 17, 1967. Exh. cat. Ann Arbor. pp. 44, 94, fig. 19.
  • Richard M. Barnhart. Wintry Forests, Old Trees: Some Landscape Themes in Chinese Painting. Exh. cat. New York. p. 63.
  • Marilyn Fu, Fu Shen. Studies in Connoisseurship: Chinese Paintings from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in New York, Princeton, and Washington, D.C., Third Edition. Princeton, 1973. pp. 302-313.
  • , et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 206, p. 310.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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