Gu Luo 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.
The Wang Hui attribution is probably spurious. The painting is, however, a good example of orthodox landscape in the late imperial period. 67 7/8" x 12 7/8". Ink and colors on satin. Very much darkened with some in-painting. To view the frontispiece, click on related record below.
A decent, if not innovative example of the scholar-literati, late orthodox style. The misty 'Mi' dotting on the middle and the distant mountains is applied rather mechanically. But we can enter the landscape and move through it as the scholar crossing the bridge demonstrates. 12" x 67 1/2". Ink on paper.
Title inscription and seal attached to 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.
Lotus flowers typically grow in muddy-bottomed ponds, but they bloom without the slightest stain. This image offers a vivid and powerful metaphor of purity emerging from an imperfect or polluted world. In a small painting recently acquired by the Museum, a crimson lotus with fine gold veins serves as a fitting throne for a Buddhist deity. The deity is Cundi, a feminine form of Avalokitesvara, the most beloved bodhisattva in East Asia. Framed by a perfect white orb and haloes around the body and head, the deity sits cross-legged, or in 'lotus' position. She wears an elaborate crown and jeweled necklace, and her superhuman abilities are signaled by a third eye in the center of her forehead an eighteen arms. Two primary hands communicate through their conventional gesture of teaching, while most of the others grasp symbolic objects, such as the sword of wisdom, the wheel of the Buddhist dharma (or law), and the fruit of enlightenment. Emerging from the sea below, two male figures wear dragon crowns and colorful robes, and carry jade scepters. They are the dragon kings Nanda and Upananda. Each raises an arm to lend additional support to the lotus, suggesting service to Buddhism. The painting is fine and decorative, typical of the courtly style of the eighteenth century. At this time in China, Manchu emperors embraced the esoteric teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and were active patrons of Buddhist art. The image of Cundi, who is unaffected by the turbulent waters and the winds below, presents an image of serenity and she continues to capture our attention today. Text by De-nin D. Lee - published in Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter Spring 2006, p7.
Possibly a work by a follower of Zhao Mengfu. The painting is very fine, probably cut down from a larger composition and now in a Japanese mounting. The subject and composition are inspired by Song bird-and-flower painting, but the slightly stylized qualities suggest a later date, possibly as early as the late Yuan, but also possibly Ming dynasty. To view a detail of the egret, click on related record below.
4" h. Ovate body with two small luted loop handles on either side of the shoulder, narrowing down towards the slightly concave base which is marked with diminishing arcs from the cord used to shear the bottom and also with residue of the kiln spurs. A short, narrow neck surmounted by a dished mouth. The finely crazed yellowish glaze falls partially down the body revealing the buff stoneware on the lower end and bottom.
2" h x 2 3/4" w. Ovate body with engraved design of dragons on two sides enclosed in arabesque cartouches and engraved peonies in arabesque cartouches on the other two sides, rectangular cover, domed and cast in relief with a dragon and preforated bale handle, traces of gilding and lacquer.
2" h x 3" w. Leather folding pouch with bail ruyi shaped bronze handle, bronze bird from escutcheons flanking a diamond form made up of bats and ruyi heads around a cross in a circle, all above an axe head form steel base with incised inscription.
2" w. Cast with projecting brows, scrolled horns and large scrolled ears, loop handle below a protruding nose which is flanked by hooked fangs, incised with fur markings, traces of gilding present.
1 3/8" h. The chubby round-faced boy crawling on his knees, wearing a harness, his hair falling to the sides of his head, simply incised fingers, a greenish-blue opaque glaze falling just above his hands and lower legs revealing the paste burnt iron-red. Roughly modeled.
3" l. Cast with long scrolled horns flanking a crest, large ears, prominent snout and protruding curved tongue forming the hook.
4 3/4" w. Astronomical mirror.
The alcove, or tokonoma, is slightly elevated above the tearoom floor and may originally have been used to seat someone of high rank. In the medieval age, the alcove became a sacred space to display a scroll with calligraphy or a simple flower arrangement. In a formal tea gathering, the scroll offers a profound message upon which guests may meditate; the natural flower arrangement reflects the pure spirit of the host. The uneven and staggered cherrywood shelves in the tokonoma display porcelains from the Reeves Collection. In medieval Japan, the shelves often held writing implements and Buddhist scripture. A dove-shaped piece of wood curves upward at the end of the shelf. This traditional architectural detail prevents a writing brush from rolling off the shelf. The recessed hardware details in the cabinets are in the shape of a chrysanthemum.
6 1/4" w. The central pierced knob surrounded by four radiating petals enclosed by a square band filled with dashes vertical and horizontal and loops at the corners, encircled by eight slightly raised bosses and dragons with birds, with outer concentric rings of archaic characters and dog-tooth bands. The recessed portion cast in linear relief integrated with the Ts, Ls, and Vs.
3 3/8" h x 6 1/4" at widest point. Unusual form of "Samarra" type. Ovate and faceted octagonally with beaded strips strung vertically between the panels, a grooved ring on the flat base forming a wide foot ring, horizontal fluted interior with impressed floral spray at the bottom, one slightly raised semi-circle at the exterior only with 'tear' stains running toward the base.
6 1/8" h. Ovate body with two small looped handles on the narrow shoulder below which are a double incised band above a six lobed mid-section extending two thirds down, a short and wide tubular neck with a thick rolled lip on top, the solid concave foot is beveled on the rim, traces of deteriorated splashed brown glaze which reached three-quarters down the side leaving the buff colored body exposed, traces of four spurs on the base.
Cup - 2 1/8" h x 4" w. Stand - 1 1/4" h x 5 3/4" w. Petal - carved, campanulate cup, green-glazed, crazed and pooling thickly in recesses and running down on a solid, slightly splayed base in thicl pools, flat base with traces of spurs, double groove below the rim on the exterior. Design of overlapping petals repeated on the inside of the stand, encircling the cup ring, concave base, buff colored body.
2 3/4" h x 4 5/8" w. Flared side turning upward near the rim and indented toward the footring, the dark brown stoneware is covered with a brown glaze inside and two-thirds of the way down on the outside where it has pooled, thinning too on the lip. In addition to the brown are radiating streaks of black on the interior and exterior.
4 3/8" w. Seal characters forming a frieze
Painted on each side with a petal shaped panel showing a mythical beast, the sides with birds on riverbanks and the neck with flowering plants, all between a pair of ear-shaped handles. Famile Verte pattern.