清 倣弘仁 幽谷泉聲圖 軸 The Sound of Spring in a Lonely Valley
After Hongren (Chinese, 1610–1664)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 40 1/2 x 16 1/8 in. (102.9 x 41 cm)
Overall with mounting: 76 1/2 x 22 in. (194.3 x 55.9 cm)
Overall with knobs: 76 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (194.3 x 62.2 cm)
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Not on view
Inscriptions after the artist (right): "The Sound of Spring in a Lonely Valley, the first lunar month of spring in the xinchou year [January 30–February 28, 1661], painted for the gentleman Jiaoru, Hongren" and after Chen Shu [jinshi degree, 1649, left] Hongren, a filial son who helped support his mother after his father's premature death, passed the local civil-service examination during the late Ming period but ended his pursuit of an official career after the fall of the dynasty in 1644. Becoming a Buddhist monk as a way of avoiding service under the Manchus, Hongren spent the rest of his life in his native Anhui Province, where he became the central figure in the so-called Anhui School of painters, whose common bond was their fascination with the rugged scenery of Yellow Mountain (Mount Huang).
Hongren favored a dry linear technique that echoes the style of the Yuan dynasty recluse-painter Ni Zan (1306–1374). In this scroll Ni's influence is apparent in the spindly foreground trees and angular rock formations. The diminishing scale of the trees helps define recession and emphasizes the overwhelming size of the towering cliff at center, which dominates the composition and imparts a monumentality similar to that of the grandly scaled peaks of Northern Song (960–1127) works.
While the painting has long been admired as an original Hongren, weaknesses in the brushwork of the calligraphy and landscape forms suggest that it is actually a close copy.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (3 columns in standard script)
Other inscription on the painting
Chen Shu 陳舒 (1612–1682), 6 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:
原舒 [印]： 道 Collectors’ seals
Alice Boney 龐耐 (1901–1988) 龐耐心賞
Gu Luofu 顧洛阜 (John M. Crawford, Jr., 1913–1988) 漢光閣主顧洛阜鑑藏中國古代書畫之章
John M. Crawford Jr. , New York (until d. 1988; bequeathed to MMA)
Providence. Bell Gallery, List Art Center. "The Individualists: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the 17th Century from the Collection of John M. Crawford, Jr.," April 26, 1980–May 18, 1980.
New York. China Institute in America. "The Life of a Patron: Zhou Lianggong and the Painters of 17th Century China," October 19, 1996–December 21, 1996.
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. "When the Manchus Ruled China: Painting under the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)," February 2, 2002–August 18, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dreams of Yellow Mountain: Landscapes of Survival in Seventeenth-Century China," September 13, 2003–February 22, 2004.