明 文徵明 松陰飛瀑圖 軸 Playing the Qin in the Shade of the Pines
Wen Zhengming (Chinese, 1470–1559)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 137 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (349.3 x 102.9 cm)
Overall with mounting: 193 1/2 x 50 3/8 in. (491.5 x 128 cm)
Overall with knobs: 193 1/2 x 55 7/8 in. (491.5 x 141.9 cm)
Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1982
Not on view
Wen Zhengming was the most influential Suzhou painter of the sixteenth century. He created his own immortality with his dogged determination to excel, his dozens of students, and an unusually long life of prodigious artistic production. In Playing the Qin in the Shade of the Pines, one of Wen's largest works, the freely executed boulders and impressionistically rendered trees coalesce into powerful interlocking forms when viewed, as intended, from across a spacious hall. The scroll is roughly contemporaneous with Wen's equally large calligraphic scrolls of the late 1520s, which were commissioned by the Jiajing emperor (r. 1522–66).
Playing the seven-string zither (qin), a versatile instrument able to suggest nature's sounds, is associated with the solitary self-cultivation and reclusive existence of the scholar. A seventeenth-century qin is on display in the Ming Room of the Astor Court.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (5 columns in semi-cursive script)
Xiang Yuanbian 項元汴 （1525–1590） 子京父印 項墨林鋻賞章
Liu Shu 劉恕 （1759–1816） 華步寒碧莊收藏 劉恕書畫印 蓉峰鋻賞圖書 寒碧主人 華步劉氏家藏 寒碧莊祕笈印
Zhang Heng 張珩 （1914–1963） 張珩私印 吳興張氏圖書之記
Wu Puxin 吳普心 （1897–1987） 南通吳氏收藏書畫印 普心 崇川吳氏 思學齋
[ David L. Elliott , West Palm Beach, FL, until 1981; sold to MMA]
New York. China Institute in America. "The Chinese Painter as Poet," September 14, 2000–December 10, 2000.