Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Not on view
Signature: Old man Xi in his 69th year playing with ink in the style of Ni Yunlin, at Xin Taiping Studio
Dated: the 18th day of the first month of 1929
Artist's inscription: In judging painting there is a difference between the capable and the extraordinary classes. If when painting a subject you depict its likeness, color it properly, arrange its components distinctively and express its subtle feelings, the work will be of the capable class [nongpin]. A painting with natural and poised brushwork, simple and vigorous ink tone, mountains, rivers, fogs and clouds as if from nature will be a sublime work [shanpin]. If the painting has a simple composition, with a few natural and unrestrained brushstrokes, a meaning simple but interesting, a flavor that is light but a spirit that is noble, the work will be lofty beyond the ordinary classifications [yipin]. One cannot paint either a sublime work or an extraordinary one without much reading and a noble, lofty mind.
Artist's seals: 1. Seal of Zeng Xi (square, white characters) 2. Enjoy the Sea Pavilion (square, red characters)
Addtional artist's inscription: Cheng Sui [1605–1691] and Dai Benxiao [1621–?] painted landscapes with burnt ink. Gao Qieyuan [Gao Qibei, 1672–1734], and Li Shizhuo [d. 1770], also liked to use dry ink. After finishing some calligraphy, there was still some ink left on the stone, so I painted this for myself. Again inscribed, Nongran.
Artist's seals: 1. Seal of Zeng Xi (square, white characters) 2. Nonran (square, red characters) 3. Seal of Zeng Xi (square, white characters)
Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth