From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
Not on view
Although this painting bears the spurious signature of Xia Gui, the undisputed master of landscape painting in the Song Imperial Painting Academy, its motifs, brushwork, and palette relate it to the work of Ma Yuan, Xia's contemporary and the other leading Song Academy master. Images of caves and grottoes have rich associations involving their role as possible access points to Daoist paradises. The use of such imagery here may imply an escapist wish to leave behind the cares of the mundane world.
Inscription: Artist’s signature (1 column in standard script) [spurious]
Xia Gui 夏珪
Unidentified: Changle 長樂 (on mounting)
[ A. W. Bahr , until 1947; sold to MMA]
New York. China Institute in America. "Album Leaves from the Song and Yuan Dynasties," March 26, 1970–May 30, 1970.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Summer Mountains: The Timeless Landscape," April 9, 1976–October 3, 1976.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Traditional Scholarly Values at the End of the Qing Dynasty: The Collection of Weng Tonghe (1830–1904)," June 30, 1998–January 3, 1999.
New York. China Institute in America. "West Lake and the Mapping of Southern Song Art," September 13, 2001–December 9, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Brush: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy," March 12, 2005–August 14, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats," August 18, 2012–January 6, 2013.