Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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清 徐揚等 乾隆南巡圖, 第四卷﹕黃淮交流
The Qianlong Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Four: The Confluence of the Huai and Yellow Rivers (Qianlong nanxun, juan si: Huang Huai jiaoliu)

Artist:
Xu Yang (Chinese, active ca. 1750–after 1776) and assistants
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
dated 1770
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink and color on silk, lacquer box
Dimensions:
27 1/8 x 431 1/4 in. (68.8 x 1096.17 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.16a–c
Not on view
This oversize scroll is the fourth in a set of twelve commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor to document his first tour of southern China, made in 1751. The scroll portrays Qianlong inspecting flood-control measures along the Yellow River. He stands beside the spillway that directs the clear, blue waters of the Huai River into the silt-laden Yellow River, diluting its sediment content and helping to flush the silt out to sea. The remainder of the scroll depicts various flood-prevention techniques, including double-sluice gates to reduce the force and flow of water into the Grand Canal, pounded-earth and stone-faced levees, and large bundles of sorghum used for repairing breaches in the dikes.

Painted by Xu Yang, whom Qianlong recruited for his painting academy while visiting Suzhou on his first southern tour, the scroll's "Western-style" unified panorama and automatically precise, theatrically posed figures reveal the influence of Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766) and other Jesuit artists working at the Qing court.
Inscription: No artist's inscription, signature or seal

Other inscription on painting

Yu Minzhong 于敏中 (1714–1779),13 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

御碑亭畔滙清黃,仰溯塗山疏瀹方。
端拱九重遑自逸,醻咨萬姓切如傷。
惟斯繼述誠應勗,亦曰流連慎戒荒,
高堰重蒙皇考建,千秋淮郡倚金湯。
御製恭依皇祖覽淮黃詩韻。臣于敏中奉敕敬書。 [印]: 臣于敏中、依光日月

Title (carved on cinnabar lacquer scroll box)

The Southern Inspection Tour, [scroll] four.

《南巡圖 》 卯

Label strip

Unidentified artist (ca. 1770), 1 column in standard script, undated (mounted on brocade wrapper):

The Southern Inspection Tour, [scroll] four.

《南巡圖 》 卯

Collector’s seals

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736-95)
游六藝圃
落紙雲煙
五福五代堂古稀天子寳
八徵耄念之寳
太上皇帝之寳
筆華春雨
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