Image: 11 x 150 1/4 in. (27.9 x 381.6 cm)
Overall with mounting: 13 1/16 x 384 1/4 in. (33.2 x 976 cm)
Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1983
Not on view
This painting invites the viewer to follow a mountain path across a stone arch and into a magical realm where herb gatherers dressed in garments of leaves and grass mingle with robed gentlemen engaged in scholarly pleasures: viewing paintings, playing weiqi (go, in Japanese), strumming a zither, composing poetry, engaging in "pure conversation," and contemplating the scenery. The scroll ends with an imposing terrace for viewing the sky and a cave-an entrance to a Daoist grotto-heaven. Based on the two-character signature at the left edge of the scroll, the painting has been identified as the work of Shen Xiyuan, a late fourteenth-century practitioner of the Southern Song academic tradition of Ma Yuan (active ca. 1190–1225). But many of the figural and landscape details reflect the styles of such mid-sixteenth-century artists as Zhou Chen and Qiu Ying, suggesting that a more appropriate date for the scroll would be the later sixteenth or early seventeenth century.
Inscription: Spurious signature of Xiyüan (Southern Song) mis-identified in a colophon of the painter Shan Xiyüan of the 14th–early 15th century.