Image: 73 3/4 x 35 1/2 in. (187.3 x 90.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 122 3/4 x 42 1/2 in. (311.8 x 108 cm)
Overall with knobs: 122 3/4 x 46 1/2 in. (311.8 x 118.1 cm)
Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, 2014
Not on view
After decades spent concealing his identity as a descendant of the Ming royal house, Bada Sharen, at the age of seventy-six, seems in this forceful depiction of eagles to be declaring his proud defiance of Manchu Qing rule. There is no immediate precedent for such imagery; instead, the painting harks back to the powerful representations of eagles and hawks created by the early Ming court artist Lin Liang (ca. 1416–1480). Lin's heroic birds are emblems of strength and courage suitable for presentation to military officials. Bada, a fervent Ming loyalist, has personalized this imagery, transforming the conventional symbolism into an expression of brave confrontation and unfaltering loyalty, his noble birds standing sentinel over a landscape now occupied by foreign conquerors
Inscription: Artist's inscription and signature (1 column in semi-cursive script):
Painted on the day after the full moon in the third lunar month of the renwu year [April 12, 1702], Bada Shanren.
八大山人 何園 真賞
Unidentified artist, 1 column in clerical script, undated:
Hu Boxuan 胡伯宣 (dates unknown) 居鄛胡集祉堂珍藏之印 胡氏伯宣珍藏
Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003) 王氏季遷珍藏之印 王季遷氏審定真跡
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Artist as Collector: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the C.C.Wang Family Collection," September 2, 1999–January 9, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "When the Manchus Ruled China: Painting under the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)," February 2, 2002–August 18, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Painting, Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," August 28, 2004–February 20, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Anatomy of a Masterpiece: How to Read Chinese Paintings," March 1, 2008–August 10, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection I," October 31, 2015–October 11, 2016.