Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Poem by Wang Wei

Artist:
Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
after 1632
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 74 3/8 x 29 1/4 in. (188.9 x 74.3 cm) Overall: 103 3/4 x 34 1/4 in. (263.5 x 87 cm) Overall with knobs: 103 3/4 x 38 in. (263.5 x 96.5 cm)
Classification:
Calligraphy
Credit Line:
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
1989.363.100
Not on view
Immensely influential as a painter and art theorist, Dong Qichang is also renowned for his calligraphy, and, together with Xing Tong (1551–1612), Mi Wanzhong (act. ca. 1595–after 1631), and Zhang Ruitu (1570–1614), he is considered one of the Four Masters of the late Ming.

As he did in his painting, Dong drew inspiration for his calligraphy from the ancient masters. Aimed at capturing the spirit rather than the physical likeness of his models, his writing style remained distinctively his own. In contrast to the brusque coarse power displayed by the calligraphy of other late Ming artists, Dong's fluid lines, alternately wet and dry from his constant twisting of the brush tip, possess tremendous grace. Dong wrote out a poem by Wang Wei (700–761):

Among the mountains we bid each other farewell;
The sun is setting as I close my bramble gate.
Spring grass every year is green;
But will the young prince ever return?
Signature: Signed, undated, three artist's seals

Marking: Collectors' seals:
Zhu Xingzhai (20th century)
Alice Boney
John M. Crawford, Jr.
Unidentified, 1 seal
John M. Crawford Jr. , New York (until d. 1988; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. China House Gallery. "Selections of Chinese Art from Private Collections in the Metropolitan Area," November 15, 1966–February 15, 1967.

Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. "The Century of Dong Qichang," April 19, 1992–June 14, 1992.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Century of Dong Qichang," July 6, 1992–September 20, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Century of Dong Qichang," October 15, 1992–January 3, 1993.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.

Related Objects

Poem

Artist: After Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636) Date: 17th century or later Medium: Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on gold paper Accession: 13.100.72 On view in:Not on view

Autumn Mountains

Artist: Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 1989.363.101 On view in:Not on view

Landscapes after old masters

Artist: Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636) Date: dated 1630 Medium: Album of eight leaves; ink on paper Accession: 1986.266.5a–k On view in:Not on view

Landscape in the Style of Mi Fu

Artist: Attributed to Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636) Date: dated 1611 and 1612 Medium: Handscroll; ink on satin Accession: 55.211.1 On view in:Not on view

Summer Landscape

Artist: Attributed to Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 62.102 On view in:Not on view