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清 戴本孝 山水圖 冊 紙本
Landscapes

Artist:
Dai Benxiao (Chinese, 1621–1693)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Culture:
China
Medium:
Album of twelve leaves; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Each: 8 7/16 × 6 9/16 in. (21.4 × 16.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.142a–l
Not on view
All his life Dai pursued a dry, softly textured style, creating evocative images of Daoist reclusion and high-minded self-cultivation. This album, one of the finest examples of Dai’s art, is stylistically datable to his late maturity, circa 1690. In traditional fashion, the album concludes with a snowscape. Dai’s final words on that leaf makes it clear that the intent of his painting is self-expression as well as representation.

I clean my inkstone not just to paint,
But to reveal the images in my mind.

Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1989
1989.142a–l
captions (C2c) 9/03 repro sm 9/8/03 2:03 PM Page 3

Regarding [the officials] Gao [Tao] and Kui versus
[the hermits] Chao [Fu] and Xu [You],
Serving and withdrawing are essentially the same.
While heaven’s bounty does indeed exist within
the mountains;
Each man has to follow his own will.


The energy between heaven and earth circulates through
the caves and valleys. Laughing to myself [I think],
“Why don’t I use this old brush to penetrate them and
show people!”

captions (Ds) 9/03 repro sm 9/8/03 2:03 PM Page 13

This is not Mi Yuanhui [Mi Youren, 1086–1165],
Nor is it Gao Yanjing [Gao Kegong, 1248–1310].
My dry brush plays with the brooding mists,
Simply to reveal the tranquility of the mountains.
Ying’a

The rocky shore lies across from my wooden gate;
To venture deep into it would wear out my hemp sandals.
The waterfall comes flying from beyond the clouds;
Its sound reaches the studio above the woods.

In imitation of Yifeng Laoren [Huang Gongwang, 1269–1354].
Benxiao

The feeling of mountains is expansive;
The sound of streams pitter patters
From high above wafts the sound of the temple bell;
Below I hear a flute from a fisherman’s boat.

Copying Baishi Weng [Shen Zhou, 1427–1509].
Ying’a

Although I bring along a crane in my fishing boat,
A flock of wild geese is still startled and takes flight.
Other living things and I cannot ignore one another;
So this fishing rod is of no use.

Fishing requires a calculating mind. Nevertheless, fish and
birds are hard to deceive. I raise this issue with seekers of
the Way for a laugh.
Benxiao

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Pines and peaks contend in strangeness;
Houses lean on steep cliffs.
Just as clouds shift from dark to light, everything
keeps changing;
Even the rainmaker cannot stop this.

Only the Heavenly Capital and Lotus Peaks [of Yellow
Mountain] have this appearance, which is not something
that can be captured by the man-made Six Principles [of
painting]. I casually emulate their general likeness.
Benxiao

Pure and severe, the air suddenly turns harsh,
Across a thousand cliffs pines appear like shadows
through the snow.
I clean my inkstone not just to paint,
But to reveal the images in my mind.

The Song dynasty [960–1279] method of depicting snow has
largely been lost to most contemporary [artists]. I have tried
to imitate it but do not know if I have caught it or not.

Painted by Dai Benxiao, Woodcutter of Mount Ying’a, of
Liyang [Anhui] by the ancient Pavilion for Pleasing One’s Mind.

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The sound of waves swirls through the blue sky;
As waterfalls brush against the dark green rocks.
With a tranquil mind I always come alone,
Listening carefully I never feel satiated.

Listening to the ethereal sounds and the heavenly wind
cleanses away worldly thoughts. One should know that I,
a rustic old man, have left traces of them in my paintings.
Old Woodcutter of Mount Ying’a

The exquisite zither suddenly sounds mellow;
The turbulent waterfall sounds particularly extraordinary.
Whose hands can bring forth [music like] the timely rain?
In a lofty studio I chant poetry to myself.

This is the method that Zhonggui [Wu Zhen, 1280–1354]
left us. I regret my painting cannot capture his concept, but
it is acceptable.
Ying’a

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Pale mists highlight the distant peaks;
The peaceful village catches the glow of the setting sun.
You can imagine that deep in the bamboo grove
Vulgar visitors are naturally rare.

In imitation of Autumn Mountains by Master Ju [Juran,
active ca. 960–95]. Woodcutter of Mount Ying’a, Benxiao

Among all my friends in the chilly season,
Who will keep me company in my wanderings?
Unable to climb up the steep cliffs,
An old crane flies down at the height of autumn.

Woodcutter of Mount Ying’a

How can I get the qualities of [the pines, which endure]
the snow and frost
To abide in me.
Laboring hard at poems to spread their elegance,
I sit high by a slab of rock alone.

[The work of ] Stubborn Ni [Zan, 1306–1374] was overly
simple and desolate, so I have changed his methods. It is
not necessary to limit oneself to a single style.
Ying’a
Signature: (Translations from "Shadows of Mt. Huang"):

Leaf a) "Gao Zuo and Kui Ya compared to Chao Fu and Xu Yu
There is essentially no difference between serving and withdrawing;
Heaven extends to the middle of a mountain,
Each man also has his own ambition.
The energy of the world's caves and valleys
freely interpenetrates;
I smile to myself that this old brush without hindrance can
penetrate and reveal the man.

Three seals of the artist

Leaf b) "Pines and peaks content in strangeness,
Houses lean on steep cliffs;
Their floating cry cannot be stopped.
Only Tiandu and Lotus Peaks [of Mt. Huang]
Have this atmosphere.
The prevailing Six Laws [of painting] should not be restraints.
Depending on oneness, [my painting] resembles the general idea.
[signed] Benxiao

Three seals of the artist

Leaf c) Inscription and signature: Yinga shanlao jiao; two seals of the artist

Leaf d) Dai says that this leaf is painted in the style of the Yuan dynasty Taoist recluse painter Wu Zhen (1280–1354): "It doesn't really look like him; it's merely a suggestion".

Leaf e) On a painting very distinctly in the style of Mi Fu (1051–1107) Dai writes: "This is not Mi Fu; neither is it Gao Kegong [a Yuan dynasty artist who worked in the Mi style]. Using an old brush, I have more or less gotten the atmosphere and the quiet calm of the mountains. [signed] Yinga."
The idea that a painter could transform the styles of past masters into a personal idiom would be articulated more forcefully by Dai's younger friend Shitao.
Two seals of the artist.

Leaf f) Describing an impoverished scholar in a remote and humble hut, Dai Benxiao notes that he has painted this leaf after the Yuan dynasty master, Huang Gongwang (1269–1354).
Four seals of the artist.

Leaf g) "Mountains were originally chaotic,
the sound of a spring is naturally soft;
High above flies the sound of Vulture Peak's bell,
Below I hear a fluet from a fisherman's boat.
After Baishi Weng [Shen Zhou]. [signed] Yinga"
Three seals of the artist

Leaf h) "Carrying a crane in a fishing boat
A startled flock of wild geese flies up;
I've not yet attained the state of mind of
forgetting the distinction between myself
and the natural world;
It's the fishing rod that's excessive."
He annotates his poem in prose: "What is needed in fishing is cunning; fish and birds are nevertheless hard to deceive. Placed in this situation, one who contemplates the Way will laugh.
[signed] Benxiao"
Three seals of the artist

Leaf i) "Tranquil clouds around a bright distant peak,
Resting village catching the evening light;
You can imagine deep within the bamboo
Carriage traffic is extremely light.
"In homage to "Autumn Mt." by Zhuran [active ca. 960–80].
[signed] Yinga Shanqiao zhi Benxiao."
Three seals of the artist

Leaf j) On a chilly winter scene, Dai Benxiao inscribes the following poem:
"All are motifs associated with winter,
Who could endure an outing?
The precipitous cliff cannot be scaled,
An old crane descends into the lofty grove.
[signed] Yinga Shanqiao
Three seals of the artist

Leaf k) "Ni Zan's [style] is entirely too lonely. I intentionally broadened it. One need not adhere only to one master's method."
[signed] Yinga

Leaf l) "Pure, bracing atmosphere—suddenly still,
A thousand pines make shadows in the snow;
I clean the inkstone not only for painting,
But also to reveal the images in my mind.
The Song dynasty method of painting snowscapes is lost by most contemporaries. I've tried to imitate the technique; don't know if I caught it or not. Yinga Shanqiao Dao Benxiao of Liyang [mountain in Anhui Province] painted at Gu Shangxin Pavilion".
Three seals of the artist

Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions and signatures[1]

Leaf A (4 columns in semi-cursive script):

Regarding [the officials] Gao [Tao] and Kui versus [the hermits] Chao [Fu] and Xu [You],[2]
Serving and withdrawing are essentially the same.
While heaven’s bounty does indeed exist within the mountains;
Each man has to follow his own will.

The energy between heaven and earth circulates through the caves and valleys. Laughing to myself [I think], “Why don’t I use this old brush to penetrate them and show people!”

皋夔與巢許,出處本無二。
天果在山中,士亦各有志。
天地 間洞壑其氣皆通,自笑老筆不妨穿開以示人也。

Leaf B (8 columns in semi-cursive script):

Pines and peaks contend in fantastic appearance;
A house sits on the steep cliff.
Just as clouds shift from dark to light, everything keeps changing;[3]
Even the rainmaker cannot stop this.[4]

Only the Heavenly Citadel and Lotus Peaks [of Mount Huang] have this appearance, which is not something that can be captured by the man-made Six Principles [of painting]. I casually emulate their general likeness.[5] Benxiao

松與峰競奇,懸崖屋可倚。
蒼狗齧人衣,萍號不能止。
惟天都、蓮花有此風致,非世間六法可繩也。聊一彷彿大意。 本孝

Leaf C (7 columns in semi-cursive script):

The sound of waves swirls through the blue sky;
As waterfalls brush against the dark-green rocks.
With a tranquil mind I always come alone,
Listening carefully I never feel satiated.

Listening to the ethereal sounds and the heavenly wind cleanses away worldly thoughts. One should know that I, a rustic old man, have left traces of them in my paintings. Old Woodcutter of Mount Ying’e

濤聲捲碧空,瀑鬟戛蒼玉。
澄心每獨來,傾耳嘗不足。
逸響天風聽之絕塵,應知野叟偶然見影畫中耳。鷹阿山老樵

Leaf D (10 columns in semi-cursive script):

The exquisite zither suddenly sounds mellow;
The turbulent waterfall sounds particularly extraordinary.
Whose hands can bring forth [music like] the timely rain?
In a lofty studio I chant poetry to myself.

This is the method that Zhonggui [Wu Zhen, 1280–1354] left us. I regret my painting is unable to resemble his, but it preserves his concept; it will do. Ying’e

淨琴忽覺潤,驚瀑響尤奇。
誰袖為霖手,高齋獨詠詩。
仲圭遺法,愧不能似,姑存其意可也。 鷹阿

Leaf E (8 columns in semi-cursive script):

This is not Mi Yuanhui [Mi Youren, 1086–1165],
Nor is it Gao Yanjing [Gao Kegong, 1248–1310].
My dry brush plays with the brooding mists,
Simply to reveal the tranquility of the mountains.

Ying’e

不是米元暉,亦非高彥敬。
枯穎弄氤氳,聊以見山靜。
鷹阿

Leaf F (8 columns in semi-cursive script):

The rocky shore lies across from my wooden gate;
To venture deep into it would wear out my hemp sandals.
The waterfall comes flying from beyond the clouds;
Its sound reaches the studio above the woods.

In imitation of Yifeng Laoren [Huang Gongwang, 1269–1354]. Benxiao

石岸隔柴關,深討倦芒屩。
飛來雲外泉,響入林端閣。
仿一峰老人。本孝

Leaf G (4 columns in semi-cursive script):

The feeling of mountains is expansive;
The sound of streams pitter patters.
From high above wafts the sound of the temple bell;[6]
Below I hear a flute from a fisherman’s boat.

Copying Baishi Weng [Shen Zhou, 1427–1509]. Ying’e

山意固渾茫,泉聲自淅瀝。
高飛鷲嶺鐘,下聽漁舟笛。
臨白石翁。鷹阿

Leaf H (9 columns in semi-cursive script):

I bring [my pet] crane along in my fishing boat;
A flock of wild geese is suddenly startled and takes flight.
Other living things and I cannot ignore one another;
So this fishing rod is of no use.

Fishing requires a calculating mind. Even fish and birds are hard to deceive. I raise this issue with seekers of the Way for a laugh. Benxiao

攜鶴上釣舟,群鴻忽驚起。
物我未忘機,多此釣竿耳。
釣意即機心也,魚鳥且難欺如此,質之觀道者一笑。本孝

Leaf I (5 columns in semi-cursive script):

Pale mists highlight the distant peaks;
The peaceful village catches the glow of the setting sun.
You can imagine that deep in the bamboo grove
Vulgar visitors are naturally rare.

In imitation of Autumn Mountains by Master Ju [Juran, active ca. 960-95]. Woodcutter of Mount Ying’e, Benxiao

澹靄明遙岫,閒村掛夕暉。
可知深竹裏,俗駕自來稀。
仿巨師 《秋山》。鷹阿山樵夫本孝

Leaf J (3 columns in semi-cursive script):

Among all my “wintry-weather” companions,
Who will keep me company in my wanderings?
Unable to climb up the steep cliffs,
An old crane flies down at the height of autumn.

Woodcutter of Mount Ying’e

皆是歲寒侶,何人堪共遊。
巉巖攀不及,老鶴下高秋。
鷹阿山樵長

Leaf K (6 columns in semi-cursive script):

How can I get the qualities of [the pines, which endure] the snow and frost
To abide in me?
Laboring hard at poems to spread their elegance,
I sit high by a slab of rock alone.

[The work of] stubborn Ni [Ni Zan, 1306-1374] was overly simple and desolate, so I have changed his methods. It is not necessary to limit oneself to one style. Ying’e

安得雪霜姿,相依在一處。
苦吟播芳風,片石獨高據。
倪迂過於簡寂,故變其法,不必局於一家也。鷹阿

Leaf L (7 columns in semi-cursive script):

Pure and severe, the air suddenly turns harsh;
Across a thousand cliffs pines appear like shadows through the snow.
I clean my inkstone not just to paint,
But to reveal the images in my mind.

The Song dynasty [960-1279] method of depicting snow has largely been lost to most contemporary [artists]. I’ve tried to imitate it, but don’t know if I’ve caught it or not. Painted by Dai Benxiao, Woodcutter of Mount Ying’e, of Liyang [Anhui] by the ancient Pavilion for Pleasing One’s Mind.

清嚴氣乍肅,千巖松雪影。
匪惟掃硯塵,庶足窺心境。
宋人畫雪法,今人多失其旨。偶爾效顰,未審有當否也。歷陽鷹阿山樵戴本孝畫於古賞心亭畔。

Artist’s seals

Ying’e 鷹阿 (Leaves A, D, E, G, H, L)
Xiexin 寫心 (Leaves A, B, H)
Xijia 夕佳 (Leaves A, J, K)
Zhenshan wei shi 真山為師 (Leaf B)
Dai 戴 (Leaves B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L)
Ben Xiao 本、孝 (Leaf C)
Wuzi 戊子 (Leaf D)
Tiaotiao Gu 迢迢谷 (Leaf F)
Shouyan 守硯 (Leaf F)
Huasui 畫髓 (Leaf F)
Benxiao 本孝 (Leaves G, I, L)
Wuzhan 務旃 (Leaf I)
Po qin 破琴 (Leaf J)
Shiwai shan 世外山 (Leaf K)

Label strip

Weng Tonghe 翁同龢(1830–1904), 1 column in semi-cursive script, undated:

戴鷹阿畫。缾生藏。
________________________
[1] Translations from Department records.
[2] Gao Tao 皋陶and Kui 夔 were exemplary officials in the court of the legendary monarch Shun 舜; see The Classic of Documents 《書. 舜典》. Chao Fu 巢父 and Xu You 許由were two hermits living in the time of the legendary monarch Yao 堯. It was said that when Yao wanted to pass his throne to them, they turned it down. They have long symbolized hermits who refuse government service. See. Huang Fumi’s 皇甫謐 (215–282) Biography of Lofty Men 《高士傳》.
[3] The phrase “white cloth or dark dogs” 白衣蒼狗 indicates the possibility of a sudden change for the worse. It comes from a poem by Du Fu (712–770)〈可嘆〉: “The clouds floating in the sky resemble white cloth; suddenly they change into dark dogs” (天上浮雲如白衣,斯須改變如蒼狗 ).
[4] For Pinghao 萍號, the “rainmaker,” see the poem Heavenly Questions 《天問》 attributed to Qu Yuan (340–278 BC). The poem, which poses a series of questions about early history and mythology, asks: “Pinghao causes it to rain, how does he do it? (萍號起雨,何以興之) “
[5] For a different translation of the poem, see James Cahill, ed. Shadows of Mount Huang: Chinese Paintings and Printing of the Anhui School. Exhibition catalogue. Berkeley; Detroit: University Art Museum, Berkeley; Detroit Institute of the Arts, 1981, cat. no. 55, p. 143.
[6] In place of “temple,” Dai Benxiao uses the term “Vulture Peak” (Jiu Ling 鷲嶺), the name of the Indian mountain where Sakyamuni lived and preached, which became metaphor for any Buddhist temple.
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