Image: 128 x 44 1/4 in. (325.1 x 112.4 cm)
Overall with mounting: 163 x 55 1/4 in. (414 x 140.3 cm)
Overall with knobs: 163 x 59 3/4 in. (414 x 151.8 cm)
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1983
Not on view
This boldly brushed hanging scroll is a striking demonstration of the aging artist’s confidence and skill in executing works of truly monumental scale. Its subject matter—secluded dwellings in a mountain landscape—reflects Gong Xian’s detached state of mind.
The artist’s poem is inscribed at the upper right:
Where I dwell white clouds often crowd; But only deer travel my recently opened mountain path. How wonderful to bring wine up to the pavilion; Letting go a pure song in the shadows of the setting sun.
Signature: To the right of the peak the artist has inscribed a seven-character quatrain. The inscription, written in five lines of large running script, may be translated as follows: "Where I dwell is often in the clouds, And only deer use this mountain path. Taking wine up to the pavilion is my greatest pleasure; Singing aloud in the shadow of the setting sun."
Two artist's seals follow the inscription: Gong Xian zhi yin; Banqian
Marking: Six collector's seals
Private collection , Taiwan (until 1983; sale at Christie’s New York, November 30, 1983, Chinese Paintings, lot 392, to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dreams of Yellow Mountain: Landscapes of Survival in Seventeenth-Century China," September 13, 2003–February 22, 2004.