Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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清 石濤(朱若極) 重陽山水圖 軸
Landscape Painted on the Double Ninth Festival

Artist:
Shitao (Zhu Ruoji) (Chinese, 1642–1707)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
dated 1705
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 28 3/16 x 16 5/8 in. (71.6 x 42.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 86 1/8 x 23 in. (218.8 x 58.4 cm) Overall with knobs: 86 1/8 x 26 3/4 in. (218.8 x 67.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1981
Accession Number:
1981.285.13
Not on view
Shitao painted this landscape for a young friend who visited him on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month—a festival traditionally celebrated by mountain climbing. Suddenly struck by his own old age, Shitao wrote this inscription:

The days when I go climbing are few now and my walking staff no longer helps me. . . . When you were young, I was already in my prime; but suddenly, you are a man and I am old. The passage of time plays tricks on people; like mist or the moon, it cannot be trusted. The future is like a cloud or traces of decaying grass—how can one fathom it?

(trans. Wen Feng)

Shitao's painting is like a fleeting vision glimpsed through fog. As the fog lifts, an approaching skiff heralds the arrival of Shitao's friend, whose coming has the effect of clearing weather on the spirits of the housebound artist. Filling the sky above, Shitao's dedicatory poem is written in a buoyantly rhythmic version of "clerical" script. The monumental characters, engraved on stelae or cliff faces, boldly defy the transient imagery of the landscape and bespeak Shitao's determination to achieve permanence through his art.
Signature: Shitao wrote this inscription:
The days when I go climbing are few now and my walking staff no longer helps me. . . . When you were young, I was already in my prime; but suddenly, you are a man and I am old. The passage of time plays tricks on people; like mist or the moon, it cannot be trusted. The future is like a cloud or traces of decaying grass, how can one fathom it?

Artist's signature: Qingxiang xiudi Ruoji, followed by two seals: Ruoji (square, intaglio) and Qingxiang Shitao (rectilinear, intaglio); another seal with the legend "Lingding laoren" (square, relief) impressed in lower right corner of the painting.

Inscription: Mounted to the left of artist's inscription: label with colophon by Zhu Lunhan (1680–1760), praising the artist's three-fold achievement in poetry, painting and calligraphy. Zhu's label has given rise to another title for the painting" Unexcelled Threefold" [Sanjue tu].

Zhu Lunhan (1680–1760): two seals: Lunhan zhi zhang (square, intaglio); Hanzhai (square, intaglio).

Marking: Collectors' seals:
He Guanwu: 1. He Guanwu (square, relief); 2. Tianqi shu wu jiancang (rectilinear, relief); 3. Guanwu qingshang (square, intaglio).

Zhang Daqian (three seals)

Unidentified: 1. Yuoyuo rongyi (square, relief); 2. Xiahua Tang Yuo kaocang (rectilinear, relief).
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