元 趙原 (元) 晴川送客圖 軸 Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day
Zhao Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1350–75)
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
second half of the 14th century
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 37 1/2 x 13 7/8 in. (95.3 x 35.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 77 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. (196.2 x 52.1 cm)
Overall with knobs: 77 1/4 x 23 3/8 in. (196.2 x 59.4 cm)
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Purchase, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1973
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 213
Zhao Yuan was a member of Suzhou literary circles and a close friend of many late Yuan scholar-painters, including Ni Zan (1306-1374) and Wang Meng (ca. 1308-1385). Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day is painted in a style similar to that of Wang Meng. Wang's powerfully expressive brushwork here becomes a vivacious pictorial surface. Zhao's use of dots is especially remarkable; varying in size, shape, darkness, and touch, they not only serve a representational function but also effectively control the overall texture and tonality of the painting. Zhao Yuan's career, like that of many other notable Jiangnan painters, was cut short by the first Ming emperor (r. 1368-98), a man of humble origins who was deeply suspicious of the Suzhou intelligentsia. After summoning Zhao to Nanjing to serve as a painter, the emperor took offense at something Zhao did and had him executed.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (2 columns in standard script)
Zhao Yuan of Jucheng [in Shandong] painted this Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day for Tuixuan, Liu Guangwen.
On the autumn river on a sunny day, A vast expanse of waves shines bright. With eyes following the sails to the distance, My heart accompanies my guest on his journey. Inscribed by the Emperor on a spring day in the dingmao year . [Seals]: Ji xia yiqing, De jiaqu