Art/ Collection/ Art Object

모래밭에 내려앉는 기러기 조선
平沙落雁圖 朝鮮
Wild geese descending to sandbar

Unidentified Artist
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
late 15th–early 16th century
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Image: 49 3/4 × 19 1/4 in. (126.4 × 48.9 cm) Overall with mounting: 91 3/4 × 24 1/2 in. (233 × 62.2 cm) Overall with knobs: 91 3/4 × 27 1/4 in. (233 × 69.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, John M. Crawford Jr. Bequest, and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1992
Accession Number:
Not on view
Set in the modern province of Hunan, China, this landscape depicts a river valley and distant mountains with a flock of flying geese, the identifying marker of one of the most recognizable scenes from the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers theme. This theme attained renown within Chinese literary and artistic circles during the Song period. Although its fame on the continent receded over time, in Korea, monochrome ink paintings of the subject reached a new height of popularity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Indeed, early Joseon scrolls and screens illustrating the Eight Views represent Korean transformations of this classic theme.

This scroll would originally have been part of a set. The tripartite composition represents the standard iconography of this subject in early Joseon Korea. The style of the work is in the manner of An Gyeon, the preeminent fifteenth-century court artist. With its delicate and sophisticated brushwork, this painting is one of the finest extant landscapes from the period.
Signature: Following the title, the artist has inscribed a poem which may be translated as follows:

Jade mansions covered in gauze,
A golden river with no rice fields in sight;
Comrades and brothers fly in pairs
Ten thousand miles down [the Rivers] Xiao and Xiang
Distant waters like silk streamers,
Flat sandbanks sparkle in frosty sunlight;
By the ferry, near a setting sun, a few men scatter,
Alighting, how carefree the geese look

A single, unidentified seal has been impressed in the lower lefthand corner of the composition.
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