Image: 55 3/4 × 32 1/4 in. (141.6 × 81.9 cm)
Overall with mounting: 93 3/4 × 38 1/2 in. (238.1 × 97.8 cm)
Overall with knobs: 93 3/4 × 41 3/4 in. (238.1 × 106 cm)
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Not on view
Born as Feng Yaheng into a wealthy landowner family in Sichuan, Shi Lu studied traditional painting in Chengdu but left school in 1939 for Yan'an in Shaanxi Province, the wartime headquarters of the Communist Party after the Long March. He changed his name to Shi Lu as an expression of his admiration for the individualist painter Shitao (1642–1707) and the revolutionary writer Lu Xun (1881–1936). During the 1940s Shi Lu espoused the revolutionary aims of the Communist Party, creating cartoons, woodcuts, New Year's pictures, and other forms of propagandist art. After 1950 he embraced Russian-inspired Social Realism in large-scale works on such subjects as the history of the Chinese Communist Revolution. This painting marks a change in Shi Lu's style. His peasants, bearing their load through the landscape, reflect training in Social Realism, but the free brushwork and wild ink of his mountains echo the work of Shitao.
Signature: Shi Lu, painted at Changan Dated 1960
Artist's seal: Painted by Shi Lu (painted square, white characters)
Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Collection (two)
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth , New York, until 1986; donated to MMA
New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Contemporary Chinese Paintings," February 24, 1987–May 4, 1987.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Painting: Selections from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection," February 2, 1988–September 25, 1988.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Between Two Cultures: A Selection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Chinese Paintings from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection," January 30, 2001–August 19, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cultivated Landscapes: Reflections of Nature in Chinese Painting with Selections from the Collection of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill," September 10, 2002–February 9, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.