Pavilion in an Autumn Grove

Artist: Cheng Jiasui (1565-1643)
Calligrapher: Cheng Jiasui (1565-1643)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 1630
Ink on paper
H x W: 175.1 x 55 cm (68 15/16 x 21 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

autumn, China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), pavilion, WWII-era provenance

To ?
Frank Caro (1904-1980), New York. [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]


[1] See object file.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Frank Caro 1904-1980
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


Reviving and reinterpreting the styles and archetypical compositional formulas of the old masters has been a common practice for Chinese painters throughout history.  In this scroll, Cheng Jiasui, who devoted himself to poetry and painting after failing the examinations to become a public official, chose to paint in the style of the famous Yuan dynasty master Ni Can (1301-74), whom Cheng mentions in his inscription.  Ni Can's original paintings are renowned for their ineffably light, dry brushwork and emotive spareness.  His approach was especially admired by scholars in the seventeenth century who felt that appreciation of Ni Can's tranquil or so-called bland style reflected their own erudition and refinement.  Followers of Ni Can, however, could never quite duplicate his original technique; so here, while copying a typical Ni Can composition, Cheng Jiasui interjected his own personal touch, which is looser and more decorative than Ni Can's. Nevertheless, Cheng was able to maintain the mood of subdued elegance associated with Ni Can.

Published References
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. vol. 7: p. 169.
  • Ta-chien Chang. Ta-feng-tang ming-chi [Masterpieces of Chinese Painting selected from Ta-feng-tang Collection]. vol. 1, Kyoto. pl. 31.
  • Marilyn Fu, Fu Shen. Studies in Connoisseurship: Chinese Paintings from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in New York, Princeton, and Washington, D.C., 3rd ed. Princeton, 1973. pp. 98-101.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 195, p. 294.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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