Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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明 王上宮 忠孝圖 卷
Paragons of Loyalty and Filial Piety

Artist:
Wang Shanggong (Chinese, active 16th century)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1593
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 11 1/8 in. x 14 ft. 8 3/4 in. (28.3 x 448.9 cm) Overall with mounting: 12 1/4 in. x 38 ft. 1 15/16 in. (31.1 x 1163.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.335
Not on view
Illustrations of historical paragons of piety and loyalty have been an important method of transmitting those virtues since at least the Han dynasty (206B.C.–A.D. 220). In the eleventh century, the scholar-artist Li Gonglin (ca. 1041–1106) gave new meaning to this tradition with his Classic of Filial Piety, in which simple monochrome drawings not only illustrate the text but also present subtle commentaries on contemporary society. In this painting, Wang Shanggong, a little-known artist from Suzhou, reinvigorated the role of artist as social critic by reviving the Li Gonglin tradition in both subject matter and style. Living under the rule of the Wanli emperor (r. 1573–1620), who refused to come to court for the last twenty-five years of his reign, Wang presented interpretations of important themes, such as officials
admonishing their ruler and the emperor receiving his ministers, which must have held particular significance for his contemporaries. Wang's extraordinarily fine baimiao (plain-drawing) style was inspired by the monochrome drawing method of Li Gonglin but attained a new level of gossamer thinness and delicacy that anticipates the stylistic innovations of such better-known late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century artists as Ding Yunpeng, Wu Bin, and Chen Hongshou.
Inscription: Artist's inscriptions and signature (3 columns in standard script)

忠孝圖
萬曆癸巳秋日吳郡王上宮倣唐人筆意。


Artist’s seals

寳翰樓
金粟後身
王上宮印
真子
龍燦
天奇
白龍潭上漁人
研旅


Label Strip

Unidentified Artist, 1 column in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

王上宮《忠孝圖》 [印]:益記


Collector's seals

Dai Zhi 戴植 (19th c.)
古潤戴培之收藏書畫私印
戴氏芝農藏書畫印
翰墨軒芝道人供養

Zhang Xueliang 張學良 (1901–2001)
囗之子
臨溟張氏珍藏
毅庵
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