Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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明/清 陳洪綬 橅古圖 冊
Miscellaneous Studies

Artist:
Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
one leaf dated 1619
Culture:
China
Medium:
Album of twelve paintings; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image (each leaf): 7 x 7 in. (17.8 x 17.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wan-go H. C. Weng, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.112a–l
Not on view
This album plays on the theme of reality versus illusion. The moon is reflected in a basin of water, a flower is next to its image in a mirror, and a butterfly is attracted to chrysanthemums painted on a silk fan. Chen emphasized the multiple levels of his artifice on this album leaf by incorporating his signature within the composition of the fan painting and by screening one wing of the butterfly with the fan, forcing us to view the insect through the painting as well as through the medium of painting. Other artful manipulations are represented by a miniature potted garden, or penzai (bonsai, in Japanese), which shows how man can transform nature, and by a twig with worm-eaten leaves, which underscores how nature constantly transforms itself.

There is no precedent for these symbolic still-life subjects in scholar painting. Instead, these highly sophisticated images, which relate to the ornamental designs found on deluxe crafts of the time, including molded ink cakes, printed stationery, and the carved decoration of Yixing ceramics, reflect Chen Hongshou's early involvement in creating woodblock illustrations for novels and dramas.
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions and signatures

Leaf A (1 column in standard script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf B (1 column in semi-cursive script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf C (1 column in semi-cursive script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf D (1 column in standard script)

Chen Hongshou

陳洪綬

Leaf E (1 column signature in clerical script, inscribed on banner)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf G (1 column in standard script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf H (1 column in standard script)

Drawn by Chen Hongshou

陳洪綬寫。

Leaf I (1 column in standard script)

Chen Hongshou

陳洪綬

Leaf J (1 column in standard script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf K (1 column in seal script)

Hongshou

洪綬

Leaf L (1 column in semi-cursive script, dated 1619)

Painted by Hongshou in the jiwei year [1619].

洪綬己未年畫。

Artist's seals

Lianzi 蓮子 [Leaves A, G]
Chen Hongshou yin 陳洪綬印 [Leaf B]
Zhanghou shi 章侯氏 [Leaf C]
Chen Hongshou yin 陳洪綬印 [Leaf D]
Chen Hongshou yin 陳洪綬印 [Leaves E, J]
Zhanghou shi 章侯氏 [Leaf H]
Hongshou 洪綬 [Leaf I]
Hongshou 洪綬 [Leaf K]

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated; 2 illegible seals:

Lianzi [Chen Hongshou] Emulating Ancient masters. In the collection of the Zipian Lu Studio.

蓮子摹古。自偏廬藏。 [二印不辨]

Frontispiece

Weng Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904), 2 columns in large clerical script followed by 9 columns in standard script [on double album leaves], undated:

Chen Zhanghou’s [Hongshou] album in the manners of earlier masters

Zhanghou [Chen Hongshou] died in the ninth year of the Shunzhi reign – the renchen year [1652]. This album is dated to the jiwei year, when the master was long dead. But if [the date] refers to the jiwei year of the Wanli reign era of the former Ming dynasty [1619], then he was barely twenty at the time. How could he have acquired such mature brushwork? I suspect that the date is a mistake for the jichou year [1649]. I greatly admire these paintings, so I have recorded this. Pingsheng [Weng Tonghe][1]

陳章侯橅古冊
章侯先生卒於順治九年壬辰。此冊題己未,則先生歿久矣。若前明萬歷己未,則年才二十,烏得此蒼古之筆?疑己丑之誤也。此畫余所矜賞,故記之。瓶生

Collectors’ seals

Zhao Rong 趙榮 (fl. ca. 1859)
Zimu 子木 (Leaf J)

Wen Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904)
Jun Zhai shoucang 均齋收藏 (Leaf A)
Shuping huajian 叔平畫鑑 (Leaf LL)
Jinhu Ge Zhu 救虎閣主 (Leaf LL)

Weng Wange 翁萬戈 (1918–)
Wange zhenshang 萬戈珍賞(on second page of mounting paper inside front cover)
Weng Wange jianshang 翁萬戈鋻賞(on second page of mounting paper inside front cover)

Unidentified
Xiling siyin 喜齡私印 (Leaf L)
Luo shi jiacang 羅氏家藏 (on second page of mounting paper inside front cover)

[1] Translation from Department records.
Related Objects

Calligraphy

Artist: Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1768–1822) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on green paper Accession: 1989.363.204 On view in:Not on view

Landscape in the Blue-and-Green Manner

Artist: Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652) Date: dated 1633 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1972.278.1 On view in:Not on view

Blue and Green Landscape with Figure

Artist: After Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652) Date: 20th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1972.163 On view in:Not on view

Vase of Flowers

Artist: After Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1972.278.2 On view in:Not on view

Landscapes, Figures, and Flowers

Artist: Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652) Date: dated 1618–1622 Medium: Album of twelve paintings; ink and color on paper Accession: 1985.121a–l On view in:Not on view