Leaf from a collective album of many leaves; ink and color on paper
9 3/4 x 13 in. (24.8 x 33 cm)
Seymour Fund, 1964
Not on view
This painting and its accompanying inscription belonged to an album made for the noted Nanjing collector and high official Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672). A leading patron of contemporary artists, Zhou assembled a number of these albums during the last twenty-five years of his life, when his career required him to travel extensively. Such collaborative works have long been a means for a group of artists to commemorate special occasions, but Zhou’s albums, which sometimes encompassed hundreds of contributions, fulfilled a different function: they included works by professionals and scholar-amateurs, Ming loyalists and Qing officials, traditionalist orthodox painters and innovative individualists. By inviting a wide spectrum of artists to both view and contribute to these albums, Zhou created a unique forum for artists to learn from and appraise one another’s productions.