Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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元 陸廣 丹臺春曉圖 軸
Spring Dawn Over the Elixir Terrace

Artist:
Lu Guang (Chinese, ca. 1300–after 1371)
Period:
early Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
ca. 1369
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 24 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (61.6 x 26 cm) Overall with mounting: 87 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (222.3 x 44.8 cm) Overall with knobs: 87 1/2 x 20 5/8 in. (222.3 x 52.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.2.2
Not on view
To escape the turbulence of the closing years of the Yuan dynasty, Lu Guang traveled far from his native city of Suzhou. He painted Spring Dawn after his return to the Lake Tai area, following the establishment of the Ming dynasty in 1368. The reference to the Elixir Terrace in the title of the painting indicates the artist's interest in both Daoist alchemy and the pursuit of immortality; the poem, which describes "elixir rays emitted from a well turning into [auspicious] clouds at dawn," expresses Lu's optimism in the new era. In the city of Wuxing in 1369, Lu Guang saw and inscribed an important painting attributed to Yan Wengui (act. ca. 980-1010). Although Spring Dawn, which was painted about the same time, shows the influence of Yan Wengui's monumental composition, Lu Guang's brushwork is utterly different from the Northern Song descriptive style. The loosely directed kinesthetic brush-strokes, building layer after layer upon themselves, evoke landscape forms as might a tone poem.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (8 columns in standard script)

Spring Dawn over the Elixir Terrace
Painted for Boyong by Tianyou [Lu Guang].
For ten years I wandered, homeless and away from worldly entanglements;
Now, returning home by the river, I see things differently from most others.
Jade like vapor floating in the sky, it is spring but no rain;
Elixir rays emitted from a well turn into clouds at dawn.
Standing in the wind I lean on my dragon staff;
I have long missed hearing your mouth-organ music by moonlight.
I am happy to be with the venerable immortal, and away from the military strategists;
We sit looking at paintings and talk about literature.[1]

《丹臺春曉圖》
天游為伯顒畫。
十年客邸絕塵紛,江上歸來思不羣。
玉氣浮空春不雨,丹光出井曉成雲。
風前龍杖時堪倚,月下鸞笙久不聞。
幸對仙翁遠孫子,坐中觀畫又論文。

Artist's seals

Tianyou sheng 天游生
Lu shi siyin 陸氏私印
Shitian maowu 石田茅屋

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated:

Spring Dawn over the Elixir Terrace by Lu Tianyou [Lu Guang] of the Yuan dynasty; a genuine work.

元陸天游 《丹臺春曉圖》 真蹟

Collectors' seals

Gao Shiqi 高士奇(1645–1704)
Jianjing Zhai 簡靜齋
Gao Shiqi tushu ji 高士奇圖書記

Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003)
Jiqian zhencang 季遷珍藏

Cheng Shaojun 程紹寯 (active early 20th c.)
Gu She Cheng Shaojun tushu 古歙程紹寯圖書

Unidentified
Xiguo Caotang 西郭草堂
Qin shu wanlle 琴書玩樂
Wei xian shu yin 味閒書印
Chen shi zhencang 陳氏珍藏

[1] Translation from Maxwell K. Hearn and Wen Fong. “Silent Poetry: Chinese Paintings in the Douglas Dillon Galleries,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. vol. 39, no. 3 (Winter 1981/82), p. 39.
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