Art/ Collection/ Art Object

明 張路 觀畫圖 軸
Studying a Painting

Zhang Lu (Chinese, ca. 1490–ca. 1563)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
16th century
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 58 5/8 x 38 7/8 in. (148.9 x 98.7 cm) Overall with mounting: 103 x 42 1/8 in. (261.6 x 107 cm) Overall with knobs: 103 x 46 1/4 in. (261.6 x 117.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1990
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 213
Zhang Lu was an aristocrat born into a wealthy family and educated with princes of the imperial family. He attained great success as a professional painter but lived very simply, almost as a hermit. He began his study of painting by emulating the leading court painter, Wang E (act. ca. 1490–after 1541), but quickly turned from the academy to other models and masters, most notably Wu Wei (1459–1508). This painting parodies the theme of the literary gathering. A group of rustics congregates around a hanging scroll as a man seated on a stone table holds forth on its virtues. A woman seated at her loom cranes her neck for a better view, a fisherman skeptically strokes his whiskers, a child darts underneath the scroll for a closer look, and the barefoot man unrolling the scroll squints critically at the image—a hawk pursuing a rabbit—which is a well-known composition by Zhang Lu himself.
Inscription: Artist’s signature (1 column in semi-cursive script)


Artist’s seal

Illegible: 1
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