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  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 189, Shin Lin (Stone Forest), Yunnan.
    Thorp Collection 189, Shin Lin (Stone Forest), Yunnan.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Character 'Kuan' or 'Guan'
    Character 'Kuan' or 'Guan'

    Five calligraphic renderings of the character, 'kuan/guan,' meaning 'to look at, see or behold'. Guide to each character: a. Wang Hsi-chih, 'Essay on Yueh I' b. Chih-yung, 'The Thousand Character Essay (detail)', late 6th century. From 'Shoseki meihin sokan 6,' no. 69; p. 22. c. Ou-yang Hsun, 'Inscription on the Sweet Wine Spring in the Chiu-cheng Palace, 632.' d. Li Yung (678-747 AD) 'Epitaph for the Yun-hui general, Li Ssu-hsun,' after 739. e. Yen Chen-ch'ing, 'Record of the Altar of the Goddess Ma-ku' ; 771 AD

  • Thumbnail for Essays on Yueh I
    Essays on Yueh I by Qianlong

    Essay by Emperor Qianlong (reign 1736-1795) on Yueh I, handscroll. The text discusses the virtuous conduct of Yueh I, a general of the Warring States period who defected from the state of Yen, which he had served loyally, after losing the confidence of his ruler.

  • Thumbnail for Cloud Gate Dancer
    Cloud Gate Dancer

    Photo of dancer Chou Chang-ning of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater performing a piece called "Cursive."

  • Thumbnail for Seal
    Seal

    Bottom of seal with example of calligraphic seal script, commonly used for seals in China.

  • Thumbnail for Geese on a Pond [A]
    Geese on a Pond [A] by Ren Zun, 1835-1893

    This pair of paintings was painted by an artist of the "Shanghai School" at that time a derogatory term applied by the traditionalists. He was a member of a family of professional artists. The inscription: Painted in the summer of 1872 in the reign of Emperor Tangzhi by Fuchang, Ren Zun, in Wumen.

  • Thumbnail for Viewing a painting
    Viewing a painting by attributed to Chen Hongshou, 1598-1652

    Two scholars in a garden examine a scroll painting.

  • Thumbnail for Ken Tenju hanging scroll, full view
    Ken Tenju hanging scroll, full view by Tenju, Ken

    Japanese Edo period hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a brown brocade mounting. The image area is 28 cm x 187 cm and depicts the landscape of a Nanga school with the scene of a mountain and hut to the left, a river to the right, a bridge in the foreground, and an inscription to the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for Colored Landscape
    Colored Landscape by it is a good example. , Guo Shiqiang

    Vertical Chinese scroll painting; ink and light polychrome on paper; image size 35.8 cm x 112 cm; brocade frame mounted on paper, protruding teak roller ends; landscape with pavilions on stilts in river with rocks and trees.

  • Thumbnail for Nanko hanging scroll, full view
    Nanko hanging scroll, full view by Gakusen, Obe

    Japanese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a dark grey-blue mounting. The image area is 27 cm x 87.5 cm and depicts a Nanga school southern Chinese style with a scene of mountains in close proximity. Also known as “Haruku Kon†and “Tani Buncho,†Nanko studied Chinese painting in Nagasaki, where Chinese artists served as cultural envoys between China and Japan from the 17th century. The Nagasaki school mainly followed the southern school of the Ming and Qing eras and subjects were limited to landscapes. Nanko received commissions to execute paintings for the Imperial Palace. Although considered a Japanese painter, this instance of Nanko’s work is in one variant of the Chinese Nanga style, imitating the mi-dot brush stroke popular during the Sung dynasty.

  • Thumbnail for Street Drama, characters
    Street Drama, characters by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

    Horizontal Japanese Ukiyo-e print; two panels from probable triptych; black and polychrome woodblock print on paper; various seals of Kuniyoshi, including “Ichiyosai†(a style name of Kuniyoshi). Artist is known for his depictions of heroic episodes in Japanese history. In his later work he tended to have a taste for the bizarre and the ghoulish. His work is influenced by European models, and in this work, the background has some degree of vanishing-point perspective. The works of Kuniyoshi are collected by many museums around the world, including Metropolitan of New York, Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, The British Museum London, and the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City.

  • Thumbnail for Pipa Song
    Pipa Song by Jiang Yun

    Horizontal Chinese painting; ink and colors on paper; 38.8 cm x 24.3 cm; lady and lute on covered barge, only mast and lanterns of another barge are visible, with willow, pine, and blossoming trees. Jiang Yun’s painting was a token of friendship, responding to a friend’s request. The subject is based on the famous Tang era poem, Lyrics of the Pipa (Lute) by Bai Juyi (772-846 C.E.).

  • Thumbnail for Narcissus and Fungus, characters
    Narcissus and Fungus, characters by Wu Shouxian

    Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting; black ink and red on paper; image area 31 cm x 132.5 cm; brocade frame, flush roller with brocade ends; red fungus (mushrooms) regarded as the plant of long life or immortality and symbol of the good; calligraphy, three seals.

  • Thumbnail for General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - colophons and text
    General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - colophons and text by Jiao Bingzhen (1689-1726)

    Colophons and text attached to the handscroll General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden. The inscription gives Jiao Bingzhen as the artist, though the painting is probably later in date. The painting depicts a scene from the biography of General Zhu Zhixi, president of the Board of War for the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. A biography is appended. The scene shows the general in a library set into a garden, with servants nearby.To see the entire scroll, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. From text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire scroll measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view the text that accompanies this illustration, click on related records below.

  • Thumbnail for Frontispiece to painting of One Hundred Boys
    Frontispiece to painting of One Hundred Boys by Gu Luo (1763-?)

    Frontispiece giving date and title to the painting of One Hundred Boys by Gu Luo. The painting employs the same pastel, bright palette for depicting an auspicious subject of 100 boys playing. This theme would have been functional as a gift for a newlywed couple. The image is delightful and humorous.11 15/16 x 88 15/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To see the entire scroll, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Carved Gourd with Literary Scenes (2 view 4)
    Chinese Carved Gourd with Literary Scenes (2 view 4)

    1 1/2"h x 1 3/4"l (including base). Side view of finely carved gourd showing scenes from literature and opera. Detail here of inscribed text.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden
    Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden by Xiaoyu, or the Lady Feng [?]

    Paintings of both men and women in gardens. A part of the iconography of the most images of women in the gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed. The identification of this woman is uncertain. Xiaoyu is taken from a seal, and the second character of the name (after Feng) is unclear, although even if it were readable there seems to be no likely woman artist with a first character Feng in her name in the dictionary. She does say that she did the work in Shanghai, and since women traveled little, this is likely where she lived. There are many paintings of both men and women in gardens. It is interesting that a part of the iconography of most images of women in gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed, a space that belonged to someone else, and by extension she was property within that space. Perhaps only in dreams could one escape. This work is competent, but not too impressive in either its brushwork or composition.

  • Thumbnail for Mountain Scene - detail of inscription
    Mountain Scene - detail of inscription

    Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Dimensions: 56 x 16 1/4 in. Condition of this work is excellent.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden - detail of calligraphy
    Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden - detail of calligraphy by Xiaoyu, or the Lady Feng [?]

    Paintings of both men and women in gardens. A part of the iconography of most images of women in the gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed. The identification of this woman is uncertain. Xiaoyu is taken from a seal, and the second character of the name (after Feng) is unclear, although even if it were readable there seems to be no likely woman artist with a first character Feng in her name in the dictionary. She does say that she did the work in Shanghai, and since women traveled little, this is likely where she lived. There are many paintings of both men and women in gardens. It is interesting that a part of the iconography of most images of women in gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed, a space that belonged to someone else, and by extension she was property within that space. Perhaps only in dreams could one escape. This work is competent, but not too impressive in either its brushwork or composition.

  • Thumbnail for Mt. Horai [Isle of the Immortals] - closer view of seal on bottom right of painting
    Mt. Horai [Isle of the Immortals] - closer view of seal on bottom right of painting by Okada Beisanjin (1744-1818)

    Hanging scroll; ink and light colors on silk. Dimensions: 34 3/4 x 19 7/8 in. Condition is good. A relatively formal work for this artist.

  • Thumbnail for Man Pointing (Kanzan) - closer view of image
    Man Pointing (Kanzan) - closer view of image

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 51 in. Condition is excellent. Represents the Chinese poet Han Shan (Japanese: Kanzan), and is a pair with 'Man with Broom at Feet', which represents Shide (Japanese: Jittoku).

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo and Rock in Rain - closer view of inscription
    Bamboo and Rock in Rain - closer view of inscription by Hine Taizan (1813-1869)

    Hanging scroll; ink on silk. Dimensions: 51 3/8 x 20 in. Condition is good.

  • Thumbnail for Man with Broom at Feet (Jittoku) - close up of signature
    Man with Broom at Feet (Jittoku) - close up of signature

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: 11 5/8 x 51 in. Condition is excellent.

  • Thumbnail for Bird with Willow - closer view of signature
    Bird with Willow - closer view of signature

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: 7 x 3/4 x 49 in. Condition is excellent.