Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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北宋/金 傳黃宗道 舊傳李贊華 獵鹿圖 卷
Stag Hunt

Artist:
Attributed to Huang Zongdao (Chinese, active ca. 1120)
Artist:
Formerly Attributed to Li Zanhua (Chinese, 899–936)
Period:
Northern Song (960–1127) or Jin (1115–1234) dynasty
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 9 11/16 × 31 1/16 in. (24.6 × 78.9 cm) Overall with mounting: 10 1/8 in. × 22 ft. 7 1/4 in. (25.7 × 689 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.3.1
Not on view
As he hits his prey, the hunter on his pony is ready with a second arrow in his left hand. The powerful horse is shown in an animated “flying gallop,” with bulging muscles suggesting the frenzied excitement of the chase, while the delicately rendered deer presents a moving portrait of a gentle victim and death.

Hunting was an ancient aristocratic pastime, especially favored as a pictorial theme by the naturalized nomad painter Prince Li Zanhua, to whom this painting was once attributed. By the late Northern Song period, scholar-critics had begun to treat the hunting scene as an allegory of violence and greed. Both the painting style and the psychological interpretation of the subject matter suggest an early-twelfth-century date for this work.

An unusually fine collection of colophons is attached to the scroll. In 1352 Zhu Derun (1294–1365) attributed the painting to Li Zanhua. Three other fourteenth-century colophons are followed by a poem by the great Suzhou painter Shen Zhou (1427–1509). The senselessness of violence, as portrayed by the hunt, is lamented by all the colophon writers
Inscription: No artist's inscription, signature or seals

Other inscription on painting

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (1711–1799; r. 1736–1795), 11 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1765; 2 seals:

東丹避嗣主,越海昔奔唐。
偶作《射鹿圖》,縵胡猶舊裝。
改姓事他國,廻心憶故鄉。
雖無逐鹿志,熟處亦未忘。
遠媿吳太伯,近輸漢高皇。
乙酉仲秋月再題。 [印]: 石渠繼鑑、乾隆

Label strip

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (1711–1799; r. 1736–1795), 1 column in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

李贊華 《射鹿圖》 真蹟 能品 [印]: 乾隆宸翰

Frontispiece

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (1711–1799; r. 1736–1795), 1 line of 3 large characters in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

《獲鹿圖》 [印]: 乾隆宸翰

Colophons

1. Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (1711–1799; r. 1736–1795), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

無心逐鹿人,卻作射鹿景。
逸麋飲箭羽,奔駒迅鞭影。
眼前馳逐忙,事後渾幻境。
說偈伊有餘,司囿吾當省。
乾隆御題。 [印]: 幾暇鑑賞之璽、乾隆宸翰

2. Zhu Derun 朱德潤 (1294–1365), 10 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1352; 2 seals:

右東丹王李贊華所作《射鹿圖》。按史傳贊華遼太祖之長子也,同光中避嗣主德光之逼,越海抵登州,歸唐明宗,因賜姓李,授懷海軍節度使。嘗載圖書自隨,好畫挾彈,射獵游騎,服用皆縵胡之纓,蓋安於所習故也。觀其筆法圓細,人馬勁健,真有盛唐風韻,故可寳也。時至正十二年正月十日朱德潤題。 [印]: 朱氏澤民、眉宇散人

3. Song Guang 宋廣 (active mid–14th c.), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 4 seals:

禍機自召是微音,一騎追風出羽林。
欲殺豈能分子母,東丹無復魏文心。
南陽宋廣 [印]: 宋廣印、昌裔、海漁、南陽世家

4. Ma Lin 馬麐 (active mid–14th c.), 9 columns in cursive script, undated; 3 seals:

聞道東舟在海陬,年年射獵作盤遊。
囗身擊箭擒蒼鹿,逞目揮鞭躍紫騮。
人物一時稱詭異,畫圖千載識風流。
中郎得此為珍玩,約客題詩示自由。
淮海馬麐 [印]: 淮海馬麐公振父私印、伏波世家、淮海

5. Liu Yizheng 劉以正 (active late 14th–early 15th c.), 7 columns in cursive script, dated 1401:

孔獠操舟捷自閒,戎胡騎射幼時安。
鼻端生火雄心健,中鹿騰驤作畫看。
歲舍辛巳閏三月廿四日 ,四平山人劉以正為伯璣良友題。

6. Shen Zhou 沈周 (1427–1509), 8 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

東丹人馬何超縱,鳴鏑一聲看鹿中。
古今逐鹿幾時了,天下紛紛幾人閧。
獲鹿又咲批頰翁,得失公然一場夢。
後人對畫發三嘆,欲辯題痕迷紙縫。
長洲沈周 [印]: 啓南

7. Cao Shizhong 曹時中 (1432–1521), 5 columns in cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

彎弧逐鹿逞雄姿,真跡流傳畫史知。
不是唐家能用武,沉淪東海卻堪悲。
華亭曹時中 [印]: 時中

8. Ku Fu 顧福 (active 1650–1692), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

兒本遼家太祖親,避居海上為天倫。
史臣合立夷齊傳,莫認中原逐鹿人。
吳下顧福 [印]: 天錫

Collectors' seals

Lu You 陸友 (14th c.)
陸友之印

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (1711–1799; r. 1736–1795)
乾隆御覽之寳
石渠寳笈
御書房鑑藏寳
太上皇帝
古稀天子
乾隆鑑賞
宜子孫
三希堂精鑑璽
五福五代古稀天子寳
八徴耄念之寳

Qing emperor Jiaqing 清帝嘉慶 (1760–1820; r. 1796–1820)
嘉慶御覽之寳

Qing emperor Xuantong 清帝宣統 (1906–1967; r. 1909–1911)
宣統鑑賞
宣統御賞
無逸齋精鑑璽
陶冶賴詩篇

Wang Shichi 王世赤 (20th c.)
雪艇王世赤氏為執林守之
雪艇圖書

Unidentified
九君世家
[ Ellen B. Elliott , Princeton, NJ, 1981; sold to MMA]
New York. China Institute in America. "Power and Virtue: Images of the Horse in Chinese Art," September 13, 1997–December 13, 1997.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Traditional Scholarly Values at the End of the Qing Dynasty: The Collection of Weng Tonghe (1830–1904)," June 30, 1998–January 3, 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Douglas Dillon Legacy: Chinese Painting for the Metropolitan Museum," March 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection I," October 31, 2015–October 11, 2016.

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