Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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元 錢選 王羲之觀鵝圖 卷
Wang Xizhi watching geese

Artist:
Qian Xuan (Chinese, ca. 1235–before 1307)
Period:
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
Date:
ca. 1295
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 9 1/8 x 36 1/2 in. (23.2 x 92.7 cm) Overall with mounting: 11 x 418 13/16 in. (27.9 x 1063.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of The Dillon Fund, 1973
Accession Number:
1973.120.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 213
After the fall of Hangzhou, the Southern Song capital, in 1276, the artist Qian Xuan chose to live as an yimin, a “leftover subject” of the dynasty. Painted in his deliberately primitive “blue-and-green” style, this handscroll illustrates the story of Wang Xizhi (  303 – 361), the calligraphy master of legendary fame and a practitioner of Daoist alchemy, who was said to derive inspiration from natural forms such as the graceful neck movements of geese. In creating a dreamlike evocation of antiquity, the artist prevented a realistic reading of his picture space as a way of asserting the disjuncture he felt after the fall of the Song royal house.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (4 columns in semi-cursive script)

How pleasant are the elegant bamboo and trees!
In a peaceful pavilion, relaxing with bare stomach, how wonderful it must feel! Writing the Daode Jing for a Daoist friend,
He leaves behind a romantic image – a man who loves geese.[1]
Qian Xuan, Shunju, from Wuxing [Zhejiang]

修竹林間爽致多,
閑亭坦腹意如何。
為書道德遺方士,
留得風流一愛鵝。
吳興錢選舜舉

Artist’s seals
Shunju yinzhang 舜舉印章
Qian Xuan zhi yin 錢選之印
Hanmo youxi 翰墨游戲

Label strip

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1735–1795), 1 column in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

Qian Xuan’s Watching Geese, a genuine work; a delight for imperial enjoyment. [Seals]: Shenpin, Yushang

錢選觀鵝圖真跡,内府御玩 [印]: 神品、御賞

Frontispiece

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1735–1795), 4 large characters in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

Untrammeled spirit at Shanyin [Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province] [Seal]: Qianlong yubi

山陰逸興 [印]: 乾隆御筆

Other inscription

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1735–1795), 1 character in standard script and 14 short lines in semi-cursive script, dated 1746; 2 seals:

蒼 [印]: 稽古右文之璽

誓墓高風有足多,
獨推書聖卻云何。
行雲流水參神韻,
筆陣傳來祇白鵝。
丙寅御題。 [印]:幾暇怡情

Colophons

1. Liang Shizheng 梁詩正 (1697–1763), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

乾隆丙寅人日敕示內廷諸臣同觀並題句。
高閣虛憑春水多,
黃庭書罷更亡何。
他年待化冲霄鶴,
此日閒看泛渚鵝。
臣梁詩正 [印]:臣、詩正

2. Wang Youdun 汪由敦 (1692–1758), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

修竹清流野趣多,
虛亭遊目興云何。
底須曇[石襄]邨邊過,
籠取沙頭似酒鵝。
臣汪由敦 [印]:臣、汪由敦

3. Li Zongwan 勵宗萬 (1705–1759), 3 columns in running/standard script, undated; 2 seals:

竹林池館晚涼多,
內景書成興若何。
樂意相關憑靜對,
換經鵝是聽經鵝。
臣勵宗萬 [印]: 臣宗萬、敬書

4. Zhang Ruoai 張若靄 (1713–1746), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

家雞遺與後人多,
昨夜大醉真如何。
老媼不知書法重,
卻將恭敬一烹鵝。
臣 張若靄 [印]:臣靄、揮豪

5. Qiu Yuexiu 裘曰修 (1712-1773), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

題扇橋邊往跡多,
空亭小 立又如何。
偶然游戲成佳話,
不必虛傳化鶴鵞。
臣裘曰修 [印]: 臣裘曰修、筆霑恩雨

6. Chen Bangyan 陳邦彥 (1678–1752), 4 columns in running/standard script, undated; 2 seals:

蘭亭三昧會心多,
草閣臨池得幾何。
釵股沙痕神妙處,
家雞野鶩本籠鵞。
臣陳邦彥 [印]: 臣陳邦彥、恩深侍從

7. Dong Bangda 董邦達 (1699–1769), 4 columns in clerical script and standard scripts, undated; 2 seals:

竹裏空亭碧蔭多,
閒窗弄筆意如何。
烏絲寫就擕籠去,
從此爭談墨沼鵞。
臣董邦達 [印]: 臣邦達印、文學侍從

8. Chen Baochen 陳寶琛 (1848–1935), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1918; 1 seal:

序禊臨河感概多,
凭闌觀物意如何。
乞書道士庸能解,
祇道先生是愛鵞。
宣統戊午人日奉勅敬題。臣陳寶琛 [印]:臣陳寶琛

9. Yi Ketan 伊克坦 (1864–1922), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

昔日今朝往事多,
補桐書屋近如何。純廟詩“昔日今朝猶歷歷,補桐書屋自雙桐”
御園新柳黃難寫,
誰為春風染似鵞。
臣伊克坦 [印]: 臣伊克坦

10. Zhu Yifan 朱益藩 (1861–1937), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

脩竹茂林逸興多,
蘭亭陳跡感如何。
龍跳虎臥連城璧,
卻換山陰道士鵞。
臣朱益藩 [印]: 臣、益藩

11. Liang Dingfen 梁鼎芬 (1859–1919), 5 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

歲寒松柏感恩多,
臘朔傳呼幸若何。
今識御書承祖法,
臨池曾賞右軍鵞。
臣梁鼎芬 [印]: 臣、鼎芬

12. Yuan Lizhun 袁勵準 (1875–1936), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

一序臨河歲月多,
茂林脩竹近如何。
卻欣觀察都成趣,
當日興懷不獨鵞。
臣袁勵準 [印]:袁勵準印

13. Qiling 耆齡 (1870–1931), 6 columns in clerical script, undated; 2 seals:

觴詠山陰雅均多,
風流不獨到羊何。
自從道士耽書換,
勝事爭傳又好鵞。
臣耆齡 [印]: 臣耆齡印、期門執戟

14. Zhao Shijun 趙世駿 (d. 1927), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

雅人深致靜中多,
比似濠梁意若何。
解識山陰微妙訣,
會心偶在一羣鵞。
臣趙世駿 [印]: 臣、趙世駿

15. Zaize 載澤 (1876–1928), 5 columns in running/standard script, dated 1920; 2 seals:

筆墨精神少勝多,
屢叨宸賞幸如何。
至今艷說山陰事,
幾見丹青寫換鵞。
宣統庚申七月廿二日奉勅敬題。臣載澤 [印]: 臣載澤、敬書

16. Zairun 載潤 (1878–1963), 3 columns in running/standard script, undated; 2 seals:

傳聞東晉逸才多,
名士高風想若何。
一自換經成往事,
至今圖畫重觀鵞。
臣載潤 [印]: 臣載潤、敬事

17. Pujin 溥伒 (1893–1966), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

虛閣新涼向晚多,
竹深林靜樂如何。
山陰高士風流在,
書法於今說換鵞。
臣溥伒 [印]: 臣溥伒、敬事

18. Pulun 溥倫 (1874–1925), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1910; 2 seals:

臨水虛亭麗景多,
黃庭寫就意如何。
當年逸興邀宸藻,
漫說名傳道士鵞。
宣統庚戌八月上浣奉勅敬題。臣溥倫 [印]: 臣溥倫、敬書

19. Baoxi 寶熙 (1871–1930), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

圖畫山陰韻事多,
霅川高士意云何。
書源遠溯游天鵠,
生趣欣看泛沼鵞。
臣寶熙 [印]: 臣寶熙、敬書

20. Guo Cengxin 郭曾炘 (1855–1928), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

題扇流觴韵事多,
傳神畫史妙如何。
書家臆斷殊穿鑿,
指法懸猜撥水鵝。
臣郭曾炘 [印]: 臣郭曾炘

21. Wen Su 溫肅 (active early 20th c.), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

襟懷蕭散晉賢多,
風尚開從傅粉何。
要識閑情皆有託,
道林愛馬右軍鵝。
臣溫肅 [印]: 臣溫肅

22. Shen Cengtong 沈曾桐 (1853–1921), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

著粉調鉛不費多,
畫師點筆意如何。
琅邪懸觧誰親證,
恭取山陰換帖鵞。
臣沈曾桐 [印]: 臣沈曾桐

25. Zeng Xijing 曾習經 (1867–1926), 2 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

一世羲之惋慨多,
臨河誓墓意如何。
畫師只貌尋常事,
艷說黃庭換白鵞。
臣曾習經 [印]: 種參

26. Li Jingyu 李經畬 (1858–1935), 2 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

鼠鬚蠺繭用功多,
為換黃庭意若何。
畫出蕺山真樂境,
墨池萬古戲雙鵝。
臣李經畬 [印]: 臣畬、李伯子

27. Zhu Ruzhen 朱汝珍 (1870–1942), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1920; 2 seals:

習嬾名齋感慨多,習嬾錢選齋名
丹青老去語誰何。選登宋景定鄉貢進士,為吳興八俊之一。至元間趙孟頫被薦登朝,諸人相附取達官,選獨流連詩畫終其身。
山陰韻事圖東晉,
脩竹亭間看白鵞。
宣統十二年庚申十月初九日奉勅敬題。臣朱汝珍 [印]: 臣朱汝珍、敬書

28. Jin Zhaofeng 金兆豐 (1870–1934), 6 columns in standard script, dated 1920; 1 seal:

親題兩字拜恩多,丁巳冬蒙賜福壽字
法祖相看較若何。
更喜宸衷褒逸操,
續羅群彥詠群鵝。
宣統庚申仲冬奉勅敬題。臣金兆豐 [印]: 臣兆豐印

29. Lin Kaimo 林開謩 (1862–1937), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1920; 2 seals:

風景新亭百感多,
山陰禊事近如何。
微臣誓墓追高躅,
愧對前賢說換鵞。
宣統庚申長至奉勅敬題。臣林開謩 [印]: 臣、開謩

30. Putong 溥侗 (ca. 1885–ca. 1946), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1921; 2 seals:

小亭踈竹景無多,
其奈先生樂是何。
參得黃庭人不解,
祇今猶說是耽鵞。
宣統十三年春王正月奉勅敬題。臣溥侗 [印]: 臣溥侗、敬書

31. Zheng Xiaoxu 鄭孝胥 (1859–1938), 4 columns in standard script, dated 1925; 1 seal:

仰止乾隆感慨多,
應天法祖道如何。
家雞莫泥山陰體,
筆陳中興有鸛鵝。
宣統乙丑十二月二十日奉勅敬題。臣鄭孝胥 [印]: 胥

32. Hu Siyuan 胡嗣瑗 (jinshi 1903), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

錦贉琁題歲月多,
晉賢逸趣欲云何。
書摹鸞鳳岐陽鼓,
數紙應卑博白鵞。
臣胡嗣瑗敬題。 [印]: 臣嗣瑗印

33. Jing Fangchang 景方昶 (active early 20th c.), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

人品書名兩足多,
鴨頭丸帖較如何。
休將慰意鵝還字,
錯擬山陰道士鵝。
臣景方昶敬題。 [印]: 臣、方昶

34. Hua Shikui 華世奎 (1864–1942), 3 columns in running/standard script, undated; 1 seal:

世事於今風浪多,
未知天意果如何。
但期時晦能遵養,
典學閒臨逸少鵝。
臣華世奎 [印]: 臣華世奎

35. Ding Renchang 丁仁長 (1861–1926), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

北伐詒書勝算多,
妙才無奈筆精何。
重聽鳴鳳恢神武,
蹔閣奴書不玩鵞。
臣丁仁長 [印]: 臣仁長印

36. Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉(1866–1940), 4 columns in running/standard script, undated; 2 seals:

沙上蘹香歷歷多,
金鑾昔夢近知何。元虞集題滕昌祐蘹香睡鵝圖詩“懷香不自獻,夢到金鑾殿”
霅川遺老真清逸,
卻寫山陰道士鵞。
臣羅振玉 [印]:臣振玉印、文學侍從

37. Chen Yi 陳毅 (1871–1929), 3 columns in running/standard script, undated; 1 seal:

南渡風流晉宋多,
天章輝映意如何。
山陰亦發興王夢,
定有將軍伏卵鵞。
臣陳毅 [印]:陳毅

38. Wang Zhenchang 王震昌 (jinshi 1903), 5 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

東晉風流往事多,
拜瞻宸翰意云何。
更欽聖學繩先祖,
筆陣縱橫嫓鸛鵞。
臣王震昌 [印]: 震昌長壽

39. Li Zhanzhi 黎湛枝 (1870–1928), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

璀璨琁題歲月多,
賡颺妙句壓陰何。
中興待繪昭陵馬,
寄意還尋逸少鵞。
臣黎湛枝 [印]: 臣黎湛枝

40. Li Zhun 李準 (1871–1936), 5 columns in seal script, undated; 1 seal:

天府琳瑯御賞多,
和章絡繹擬羊何。
右軍故事流傳永,
應勝蓮陂寫戲鵞。
臣李準 [印]: 李準

41. Xiao Bingyan 蕭丙炎 (jinshi 1903), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

妙墨流傳積歲多,
幸逢宸賞貴如何。
興朝自有鳴岡鳳,
不數丹經易白鵞。
臣蕭丙炎敬題。 [印]: 臣、丙炎

42. Guo Zeyun 郭則澐 (1882–1946), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

奎章捧出五雲多,
畫史評量勝范何。
憶拜主恩江海去,
墨池親訪右軍鵞。
臣郭則澐敬題。 [印]: 郭則澐

43. Wang Guowei 王國維 (1877–1927), 2 columns in standard script, undated:

霅川妙繪世無多,
內史風期竟若何。
須信飛潜無二理,
跳天龍與戲池鵞。
臣王國維敬題。

44. Zhou Denghao 周登皞 (died 1940), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated:

得瞻宸翰荷恩多,
東晉風流事若何。
誓墓披圖臣有媿,
頻年蹤跡類鴐鵝。
臣周登皞

45. Chen Cengshou 陳曾壽 (1877–1949), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

畫圖逸事右軍多,
江左沈吟意若何。
閒却胸中王略論,
小亭長晝對池鵞。
臣陳曾壽 [印]:臣曾壽

46. Wang Naizheng 王乃徵 (1861–1933), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

禽戲能通墨戲多,
山陰清興意如何。
便論一藝須師法,
善草文山尚養鵞。
臣王乃徵 [印]:臣王乃徵

47. Yang Zhongxi 楊鍾羲 (1865–1940), 4 columns in standard script, dated 1926:

蘭亭興感意常多,
爭奈清談癈務何。
應羨東巡隨蹕路,
曾邀天笑繪籠鵞。
丙寅三月奉勅敬題。臣楊鍾羲

48. Lin Baoheng 林葆恆 (1881–?), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

臨池餘事豈堪多,
攬轡澂清意若何。
伫看中興新事業,
軍聲行亂蔡州鵝。
臣林葆恆 [印]: 林葆恆印

49. Puwei 溥偉 (1880–1937), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1936; 2 seals:

帖尾題詩數已多,
虞廷賡和感如何。
右軍憂國形辭翰,
不獨高風託愛鵞。
臣溥偉奉勅敬題,時康德三年正月二十三日。 [印]: 溥偉、敬書

50. Puxiu 溥修 (1896–1956), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

秘苑琳琅睿賞多,
幸邀遊目感如何。
五千文字薪傳盡,
綵筆今看道士鵞。
臣溥修敬題。 [印]: 臣溥修、敬書

51. Chen Cengze 陳曾則 (1881–1958), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1940:

賜觀圖畫感恩多,
湖海微臣幸若何。
願覩嘉符來鳳鳥,
永清寰宇化蒼鵞。
康德七年八月十六日臣陳曾則奉勅敬題。

52. Xu Siyun 徐思允 (active early 20th c.), 5 columns in standard script, dated 1940:

靜觀萬物得師多,
撥水衝波意若何。
堪咲征西雞鶩論,
不如道士解籠鵞。
康德七年八月二十九日臣徐思允奉勅敬題。

53. Shang Yanying 商衍瀛 (1869–1960), 5 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

虎臥龍跳御賞多,
三希妙墨信如何。
陰陰夏木池塘裏,
續詠宸題逸少鵞。
臣商衍瀛 [印]: 臣商衍瀛

Collectors’ seals

He Fuzheng 賀復徵 (active 1st half of 17th c.)
He Zhonglai jianding zhencang 賀仲來鑑定珍藏

Wu Zhen 吳楨 (active 1st half of 17th c.)
Wu Zhen 吳楨
Zhousheng 周生

Zhang Bojun 張伯駿 (active mid-17th c.)
Bojun 伯駿
Zhang Bojun Fanwo shi jingwan shuhua zhi yin 張伯駿範我氏精玩書畫之印

Geng Zhaozhong 耿昭忠 (1640–1686)
Zhenmi 珍秘
Yi er zisun 宜爾子孫
Gong 公
Xingong zhenshang 信公珍賞

Geng Jiazuo 耿嘉祚 (active 2nd half of 17th c.)
Huihou zhencang 會侯珍藏
Geng Huihou jianding shuhua zhi zhang 耿會侯鑑定書畫之章
Zi Huihou Jiazuo yin 字會侯嘉祚印
Zhenwan 真玩
Zhansi ji 湛思記

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–1795)
Qianlong yulan zhi bao 乾隆御覽之寳
Qianlong jianshang 乾隆鑑賞
Shiqu baoji 石渠寳笈
Yangxin Dian bao 養心殿寳
Yangxin Dian jiancang bao 養心殿鋻藏寳
Yi zisun 宜子孫
Sanxi Tang jingjian xi 三希堂精鋻璽
Wufuwudai Tang guxi tianzi bao 五福五代堂古稀天子寳
Taishang huangdi zhi bao 太上皇帝之寳
Guxi tianzi 古希天子
Shou 壽
Bazheng maonian zhi bao 八徵耄念之寳

Qing emperor Jiaqing 清帝嘉慶 (r. 1796–1820)
Jiaqing yulan zhi bao 嘉慶御覽之寳

Qing emperor Xuantong 清帝宣統 (r. 1908–1911)
Xuantong yulan 宣統御覽
Xuantong jianshang 宣統鑑賞
Wuyi Zhai jingjian xi 無逸齋精鋻璽

Jiang Zuyi 蔣祖詒 (1902–1973)
Jiang Zuyi 蔣祖詒
Gusun jiancang 穀孫鋻藏

Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003)
Jiqian jianding 季遷鑑定
Zhenze Wang shi Baowu Tang tushu ji 震澤王氏寳武堂圖書記
Zhenze Wang shi Jiqian shoucang yin 震澤王氏季遷收藏印
Wang Jiqian yin 王季遷印
Wang shi Jiqian zhencang zhi yin 王氏季遷珍藏之印
Huaiyun Lou jianshang shuhua zhi ji 懷雲樓鑑賞書畫之記
Jiqian xinshang 季遷心賞

Unidentified
Zhonggui shuhua yin 重貴書畫印
Xu Youyun zi 徐幼雲子
Xinyu tushu 新宇圖書
Bangu Xuan [half seal] 半古軒[半印]

Illegible: 5

[1] Translation from Wen C. Fong, Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy 8th–14th Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, p. 319. The romanization is changed from the Wade-Giles system to pinyin.
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