Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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明 居節 石泉圖 軸
The Waterfall

Artist:
Ju Jie (Chinese, active ca. 1531–1585)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1559
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Dimensions:
43 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (110.5 x 24.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
13.220.116
Not on view
Ju Jie, a native of Suzhou, studied painting with Wen Jia (1501–1583) but also received instruction from Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), whose style he emulated so successfully that people considered him the master's most talented pupil. After refusing a summons from the eunuch manager of Suzhou's Imperial Silk Manufactury, however, Ju Jie's family was forced into poverty. He subsequently built a small home at the foot of Tiger Hill and lived out his life in relative poverty and ill health—as attested to by his inscription:

In the jiwei year of the Jiajing reign on the day of Mild Cold [December 29, 1559] Xuanjin dropped by and produced this paper, pressing me for a painting by my clumsy brush. At the time I was ill and had long neglected brush and inkstone. In a disorderly way I daubed and rubbed; surely one must find it awful. May Xuanjin not be offended with my soiling his beautiful paper.

(trans. after Aschwin Lippe)

Executed in exquisitely pale, dry brushwork with occasional accents of dark ink, this painting showcases Ju Jie's mastery of Wen Zhengming's refined monochrome landscape style. In Ju's interpretation, however, the dense skein of trees and rocks presents an almost impenetrable web of surface patterns that is scarcely alleviated by the widening stream at the bottom of the composition, where a single figure sits admiring the view.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (4 columns in standard script)

嘉靖己未小寒日,玄搢過訪,出此楮索拙筆,時余病後久棄筆研,漫爾塗抹,殊覺惡劣,玄搢得勿怪汙佳紙耶。居節識。

Artist’s seals

士貞
居節印

Other inscription on the painting

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–95), 7 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1761; 1 seal:

石泉萬仞落厜硪,流去誰能計里知。
散髮幽人濯雙足,別開生面左家詩。

辛巳秋日御題。 [印]: 乾隆宸翰

Collectors' seals

Liang Changbiao 梁清標 (1620–1691)
蕉林居士
蒼巖

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–95)
石渠寳笈
乾隆御覽之寳
乾隆鋻賞
三希堂精鋻璽
宜子孫
恩賜
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