Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

明 陳子和 古木酒仙圖 軸
Drunken Immortal beneath an old tree

Artist:
Chen Zihe (Chinese, active early 16th century)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
early 16th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 69 in. × 40 1/4 in. (175.3 × 102.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 9 ft. 9 in. × 47 3/8 in. (297.2 × 120.3 cm) Overall with knobs: 9 ft. 9 in. × 52 in. (297.2 × 132.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.494.4
Not on view
By the end of the fifteenth century the court had ceased to be the principal patron of the arts, so professional painters turned to private sponsors and to the marketplace as outlets for their work, adopting a bravura style of execution that transformed painting into a kind of performance art. Using an idiom of bold monochrome brushwork and graded ink washes first employed by Chan (Zen) Buddhist monk-artists during the thirteenth century, these artists made compositions with dazzling virtuosity, often before astonished onlookers.

The Fukinese painter Chen Zihe was a significant regional master in this tradition who took the sobriquet "Uninhibited Immortal" to emphasize his rejection of convention. Chen's humorous and somewhat provocative image of a drunken immortal exhibits all the key conventions of his craft. The shallow picture space and tight composition are constructed of powerful diagonals that intensify the dramatic focus, while highly animated brushwork offers a lively counterpoint to the massive scale of the pictorial elements, many of which are truncated by the frame.
Signature: "Sketched by the seventy-seven-year-old Uninhibited Immortal Chen Zihe"; one artist's seal
Related Objects

Returning home through the snow

Artist: Dai Jin (Chinese, 1388–1462) Date: ca. 1455 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1992.132 On view in:Gallery 215

Scholar looking at a waterfall

Artist: Zhong Li (Chinese, active ca. 1480–1500) Date: late 15th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1991.438.4 On view in:Gallery 215

Mandarin ducks and cotton rose hibiscus

Artist: Lü Ji (Chinese, active late 15th century) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 2005.494.2 On view in:Gallery 215

Flowers, fish, and crabs

Artist: Liu Jie (Chinese, active mid-16th century) Date: mid-16th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 47.18.130 On view in:Gallery 215

The Four Deities of Mount Kōya

Date: 16th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color and gold on silk Accession: 2015.300.15 On view in:Not on view