Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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南宋 佚名 舊傳五代周文矩 琉璃堂人物圖 卷
Scholars of the Liuli Hall

Artist:
Unidentified Artist Chinese, late 13th century
Period:
Song dynasty (960–1279)
Date:
late 13th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 12 3/8 × 50 9/16 in. (31.4 × 128.4 cm) Overall with mounting: 15 1/8 in. × 27 ft. 5 1/2 in. (38.4 × 836.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Sheila Riddell, in memory of Sir Percival David, 1977
Accession Number:
1977.49
Not on view
Scholars of the Liuli Hall commemorates a famous gathering hosted by the poet Wang Changling (act. ca. 713-41) at his official residence in Jiangning (modern Nanjing, Jiangsu Province). An earlier, cut-down version of the same composition, entitled simply Literary Gathering (Palace Museum, Beijing), is attributed to Han Huang (723-787). The costumes and the style in which the figures are drawn, however, relate these works to Zhou Wenju, the great Southern Tang (937-75) court painter who used a "tremulous brush line" (zhanbi) to draw drapery.
In the Metropolitan's scroll, Zhou's tenth-century style has been transformed by a thirteenth-century artist. The sensitively drawn faces are late Song in style; while more schematic than Tang (618-907) examples, they are more solidly and three-dimensionally conceived than those of the late Ming (16th-17th century). In describing the figures' robes, Zhou Wenju's "tremulous brush line" has become a virtuoso performance: elegant fluttering lines, at once playful and confident, are well integrated, and the hooks and curves representing creases and pockets show an extravagant realism matched only by the best late Southern Song Academy figure painters.
Inscription: No artist's inscription, signature or seal

Inscription on the painting

Song emperor Huizong 宋徽宗 (r. 1101–1126) [spurious], 2 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

周文矩 《琉璃堂人物圖》,神品工妙也。 [印]: 内府圖書之印

Label strip

Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873–1941), 1 column in standard script, undated; 1 illegible seal:

周文矩 《琉璃堂人物圖》 真跡,無上神品。平等閣珍藏。

Frontispiece

Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873–1941), 11 large characters in standard script and 2 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1925; 3 seals:

周文矩 《琉璃堂人物圖》 神品
乙丑孟冬狄平子題於寶賢庵。 [印]: 平等閣藏、狄平子、寶賢庵

Label strip

Liu E 劉鶚 (1857–1909), 1 column in standard script, dated 1900:

周文矩 《 琉璃堂人物圖》.庚子臘月得此,劉鐵雲書簽。

Colophons

1. Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873–1941), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1924; 1 seal:

此卷用筆古拙,與唐人畫法極似。眉目悉用濃墨,衣摺為鐵線,宋以後人無此畫法。羅叔蘊有一卷,僅後面之半段。一人捉筆,一人撫松,視為祕寶。以此相較,有天壤之別。此卷當定為真蹟無疑。甲子秋初平子狄葆賢 [印]:平子偶筆

2. Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873–1941), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1925; 1 seal:

近見古書畫多有宣和題款,其貌頗似,然皆偽作。此款十四字,活潑靈妙,秀逸在骨,確為道君真跡無疑。此卷本劉鐵雲故物,憶前清光緒末年時,李文石、王子展共為賞鑒,其論與余合。文石審定書畫均精,子展對於書法鑒賞亦確。今三君久歸道山,與琉璃堂人物同為古人矣。乙丑冬日狄平子誌。 [印]:平等閣主人

3. Wang Yijian 王易簡 (13th century), 10 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

唐張喬有 《題上元許棠所任王昌齡廳》 絕句云:“琉璃堂裡當時客,久絕吟聲繼後塵。百四十年庭樹老,如今重得見詩人。”昌齡,江寧人,江寧後改上元。喬,咸通間進士。略計去昌齡之時近遠亦與詩合。所謂琉璃堂者,在金陵無疑,故應入江南圖畫中。特未知後咸通又數十年,文矩著筆政復為誰耳?抑老松偃蹇,猶存王許故物耶。山陰王易簡 [印]:王理得父、畫隱園

4. Qiu Songsheng 邱崧生 (active early 20th c.), 1 column in standard script, dated 1902:

光緒壬寅首夏山陽邱崧生拜觀于抱殘守缺齋。

5. Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873-1941), 9 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1925; 3 seals:

宋元人真蹟留存世間者實希如星鳳,大都明人臨本。佳者去款亦屬不易。以其去真本雖未能全似,或得其半,或得一體,已屬可寶。猶之碑帖,宋翻宋拓[“已屬”二字點去]尚為難得,後人賴此可以窺見古人用筆用墨之法則,利益於後人者,亦[“屬不少”三字點去]非淺鮮矣。明人臨本尚當寶貴,何況真跡。此卷為抱殘守缺齋主人劉君鐵雲所藏,清季末葉時,以質巨金於錢肆,展轉入余平等閣,畫笈生色不少。乙丑病起,精神未復,倚枕題此,字句多誤,可哂也。平子題于平等閣。 [印]:平等閣主、狄平子心賞、愛畫入骨髓

Collectors' seals

Dong Gao 董誥 (1740–1818)
富春董氏收藏書畫記

Di Baoxian 狄葆賢 (1873–1941)
平等閣藏

Unidentified
寳勤堂書畫印
臣兆鳳印
臣兆鳳
臣兆鳳
桐華庵主
山靜日長
穎川世家陳氏子木鑑藏書畫圖籍印章
陳氏子木秘笈之印
陳氏子木父秘笈之印
子木秘玩
木道人
師藝鑑定
囗囗收藏書畫之印
墨緣
Sir Percival David , London (until d. 1964) ; his widow Lady David , later Mrs. Sheila Riddell, London (1964–1977; donated to MMA)
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