Inscribed by Shitao (Zhu Ruoji) (Chinese, 1642–1707)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Album of eight leaves; ink and color on paper
5 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (14.9 x 27.3 cm)
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Not on view
Having lived as an itinerant monk nearly his entire life, Shitao decided in 1696 to shed his Buddhist garb, end his peripatetic life, and build himself a home in the prosperous commercial center of Yangzhou, where he supported himself through his painting. In this album, painted not long after Shitao settled in Yangzhou, the artist has drawn for inspiration on his own lifetime of wandering. We feel the painter's presence in each of the images as he explores the themes of traveling and dwelling among mountains and lakes.
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions
LEAF A: 2 columns in standard script
Don’t boast that Lake Ze is as vast as heaven, Resembling a blank mirror every day.
LEAF B: 1 column in semi-cursive/standard script
Who really understands my music?
LEAF C: 2 columns in standard script
After several li there is no more path; A thousand peaks hide an enclosure.
LEAF D: 1 column in standard script
LEAF E: 7 columns in standard script
The gifted scholar who gazes over the lake is like an immortal from east of the river; He follows in the footsteps of Dongfang Manqian [Dongfang Shuo, 161/162–93 B.C.].
LEAF F: 1 column in standard script
LEAF G: 3 columns in standard script
I spent my energy searching for the abode of the immortals; Now I am deep in the blue-green bluffs.
LEAF H: 3 columns in semi-cursive/standard script
On the Southern Lake, mist and waves form a vast expanse; ducks and small birds fly as high as the clouds. There is a great area of water in Xuanzhou, and I often go there to look at it. I chanced to paint the gist of it. Dadizi
 Lake Ze is an alternative name for Lake Tai on the lower Yangzi delta.
 Translations of the artist’s inscriptions on leaves B through H are from Aschwin Lippe’s entry in Laurence Sickman et al. eds, Chinese Calligraphy and Painting in the Collection of John M. Crawford, Jr. New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1962, no. 79, pp. 161-62.