Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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南宋 趙孟堅 水仙圖 卷
Narcissus

Artist:
Zhao Mengjian (Chinese, 1199–before 1267)
Period:
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
Date:
mid-13th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 13 1/16 in. × 12 ft. 3 1/4 in. (33.2 × 374 cm) Overall with mounting: 13 7/16 in. × 32 ft. 7 3/16 in. (34.1 × 993.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of The Dillon Fund, 1973
Accession Number:
1973.120.4
Not on view
Zhao Mengjian, a member of the Song imperial family and an accomplished scholar and calligrapher, specialized in painting narcissi and raised the flower to the level of the orchid in the esteem of scholars. Offering the promise of spring, the narcissus is known in Chinese as the "water goddess" (shuixian) or the "goddess who stands above the waves" (lingbo xianzi). The fragrant blossoms are associated with the two goddesses of the Xiang River and, by extension, with Qu Yuan (343–277 b.c.), author of Li Sao (On Encountering Sorrow). Qu Yuan, a loyal minister of the state of Chu, drowned himself in a tributary of the Xiang River after failing to alert his prince of the imminent danger threatening the state.

In a poem appended to the scroll after the Mongol conquest, the Song loyalist Qiu Yuan (1247–after 1327) describes Zhao's narcissi as the only vision of life in an otherwise devastated land:

The shiny bronze dish is upset,
and the immortals' dew spilled;
The bright jade cup is smashed,
like broken coral.
I pity the narcissus for not being
the orchid.
Which at least had known the
sober minister from Chu.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal

Label strip

Wang Tongyu 王同愈 (1855–after 1941), 1 column in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

宋趙子固 《凌波圖》真蹟。密韻樓[1] 珍祕,栩緣題。 [印]: 王同愈印

Colophons

1. Zhou Mi 周密 (1232–1308), 10 columns in semi-cursive/standard script, undated; 4 seals:

玉潤金明 ,記曲屏小几,剪葉移根 。經年汜人重見,瘦影娉婷 。 雨帶風襟零亂,步雲冷,鵝管吹春 。 相逢舊京洛,素靨塵緇,仙掌霜凝 。

國香流落恨,正冰銷翠薄,誰念遺簪?水空天遠,應想樊弟梅兄 。渺渺魚波望極,五十絃,愁滿湘雲 。凄涼耿無語,夢入東風,雪盡江清 。

夷則商 《國香慢》,弁陽老人周密 [印]: 齊周密印章、嘉遁貞吉、周公堇父、周公子孫

2. Qiu Yuan 仇遠 (1247–1327), 6 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

冰薄沙昏短草枯,采香人遠鬲湘湖。
誰留夜月群仙佩,絕勝秋飌九畹圖。
白粲銅槃傾沆瀣,青明寳玦碎珊瑚。
卻憐不得同蘭蕙,一識清醒楚大夫。

西湖仇遠 [印]: 山村遺民

3. Lin Zhong 林鍾 (active early 14th c.), 5 columns in semi-cursive/standard script, undated; 3 seals:

水仙花,前人畫者罕見。嘗見平原公子之筆,清而疎甚可愛也。今此卷繁而不俗,尤覺可觀。蓋疎則易清,繁則易俗。然則此作其可草草觀耶。東吳林鍾 [印]: 林鍾、(二印模糊不辨)

4. Li Zhigang 李至剛 (1368–1425), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

水精宮闕夜不閉,僲子出遊凌素波。
何事低頭弄明月,不知零露溼衣多。

天台李至剛 [印]: 南宮清趣

5. Chu Deyi 褚德彝 (1871–1942), 9 columns in semi-cursive/standard script, undated:

僊骨珊珊,稱湘皋玉佩,漢殿銅槃。相逢縞衣羅帶,顧影花妍。只怨王孫芳草,孰羡予嵗晏天寒。無言自矜寵,淚暈黃金,腰嚲青珊。

多應身世感,便靈芬未沫,秀色誰餐?藐姑肌雪,空向煙霧乘鸞。劫後銀河笙脆,和綠塵吹散人間。傷心與終古,隆吉冬青,[2]思肖秋蘭。

自題子固 《凌波圖》卷,同草窓韵 《國香慢》。曹元忠 (1865–1923)

6. Chu Deyi 褚德彝 (1871–1942), 11 columns in semi-cursive/standard script, undated:

一幀湘魂, 正捐璫水濶,汛瑟烟昏。江皐幾樷憔悴,留伴靈均。日莫通詞何許,有嬋媛北渚孤顰。國香縱流落,未許東風換土移根。

經年亡國恨,料銅槃冷透,鉛淚澘痕。故宮天遠,鵝管從此無春。補作宣龢殘譜, 儘消凝老去王孫。不成被花惱,步入鷗波,滿襪秋塵。

《宣和畫譜》 無水仙,為君直題趙子固 《凌波圖》卷。彊邨朱祖謀 (1857–1931)

7. Chu Deyi 褚德彝 (1871–1942), 27 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1936; 5 seals:

《畫史會要》 言彝齋善水墨,白描水僊、梅蘭、山礬、竹石。是卷長一丈餘,畫白描水僊數十本。千華萬葉,偏正反側,不可方物。澂懷細玩,繽紛葉蕊皆有端緒可尋。用墨用筆之精,非宋以後畫家所能措手,洵藝苑之奇珍也。後有周公謹題 《國香慢》 詞一闋,即 《絕妙好詞》 四卷所載者。書體方整精健,得信本神髓,[3]與草窓韵語字蹟如出一手,當是其晚嵗所書,後押“齊周密之印”及“周公堇氏”。最下一印仿蛟篆,乃“周王子孫”四字。其下有仇山邨七絕二首,押“山邨遺民”一印。山村在元初隱居於吾邑,所居在邑東之仇山,即房山為畫 《山邨圖》者。林鍾、李至剛不可考,當是明人。 《式古堂書畫彚考》 著錄此卷,除草窗、山邨、林、李四題外,尚有鮮于樞同盛元仁、鄭君擧觀,子昂、瓚同陳惟允觀款,鄧文原詩,張瑛題,劉笏題記,張伯淳詩,當是清初為粥古人割裂,而草窗、山邨遺蹟幸存,殊足珍矣。此卷舊藏元和顧子山家,後屬吾友曹君直撰 《過雲樓書畫記》,成即以爲酬。 君直歾後,穀孫世大兄以重值購得之,携以見示,并屬補錄曹、朱二詞。杜門靜玩,自幸眼福不淺也。丙子年閏三月餘杭褚德彝記。 [印]: 褚曰池、褚禮堂、松窗、德彜之璽、窺栞崩石攈逸殘竹

Collectors’ seals

Xiang Yuanbian 項元汴 (1525–1590)
項元汴[半印]
項子京家珍藏
子孫永保
墨林父
項墨林鑑賞章
虛朗齋
欈李
子孫世昌
子京所藏[半印]
子京[半印]

Yuan Shu 袁樞 (1st half of 17th c.)
明袁樞鑑賞書畫之章

Xu Xiaoxian 徐孝先 (active early 17th c.)
徐孝先

Jiang Zuyi 蔣祖詒 (1902–1973)
穀孫鑑藏
密均樓
妙無以加

Chu Deyi 褚德彜 (1871–1942)
松窗寓賞

Wu Puxin 吳普心 (1897–1987)
吳庭香印
普心珍賞
普心珍藏
思學齋鑑藏印
吳氏

吳氏珍藏
南通吳氏收藏書畫印
思學齋
思學齋
崇川吳氏
南無阿彌陀佛

Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003)
王季遷海外所見名跡
王季遷氏審定真跡
震澤王氏寳武堂圖書記
季遷珍藏
曾藏王季遷處
延陵
寳武堂
寳武堂印
此中有何好秀色妙滿眼
平淡天真
心賞
懷雲樓

Unidentified:
其求世業
子孫保之
無等庵收藏印

Illegible: 1

[1] 蔣汝藻藏書樓。

[2] 梁棟,字隆吉,淳祐二年(1242)生,咸淳四年(1268)進士。元大德九年(1305)卒。

[3] 歐陽詢(557–641),字信本。
Chu Deyi 褚德彜 Wuxing, Zhejiang Province, China ; Wu Puxin 吳普心 , Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China ; Zuyi Jiang , Wuxing, Zhejing Province, China ; C. C. Wang Family , New York (by 1949–1973; sold to MMA)
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