Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

View of Lake Tai

Artist:
Wen Zhengming (Chinese, 1470–1559)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1543
Culture:
China
Medium:
Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on gold-flecked paper
Dimensions:
9 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. (24.8 x 52.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.7.1
Not on view
Wen Zhengming painted this dreamy vision of Lake Tai, China's "Great Lake," for a friend after their springtime boat ride together. Wen's poem reads:

Islands spread out in a mirror,
Like purple hibiscus immersed in a watery
silver platter.
Who can hold thirty-thousand jing [the
supposed size of Lake Tai] in his bosom?
I long to visit the seventy peaks [of Lake Tai]
for myself.
Heaven is vast, billows roll on, days turn
into months.
In the spring cold the water country hides fish
and dragons;
Sitting in the middle of the lake I seemed to
hear roosters [crow] and dogs bark.
Where should I find the retired statesman
Fan Li?
Signature: The artist has inscribed a poem (two quatrains of seven character lines) in the upper right corner, followed by the date, "Spring of the gui-mao year [1543]."

Inscription: To the left of the artist's inscription, two appreciative colophons;

A poem of two quatrains in seven character lines on the right and a poem by Xu Jin, and a poem using the same rhyme scheme as Xu Jin's on the left by Zhang Huan (dates unknown).

Marking: Seal of unidentified owner, lower left corner of fan.
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