Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

明 沈周 夜雨泊舟圖 軸
Anchorage on a Rainy Night

Artist:
Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1477
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image (painting): 31 1/2 × 13 1/4 in. (80 × 33.7 cm) Overall with mounting: 84 × 19 3/4 in. (213.4 × 50.2 cm) Overall with knobs: 84 × 22 5/8 in. (213.4 × 57.5 cm) Image (colophon sheet): 12 × 13 1/4 in. (30.5 × 33.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Promised Gift of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill
Accession Number:
L.2001.85.1
Not on view
Anchorage on a Rainy Night illustrates how Ming scholar-artists intertwined poetry and painting to create a vehicle for intimate exchanges among a close-knit circle of friends. Radiating a mood of subdued introspection, the painting mirrors Shen's state of mind less than two months after his father's death, when he found solace in a friend's company. Shen drew on the pictorial vocabulary of the Yuan artist Huang Gongwang (1269–1354): softly contoured peaks, flat plateaus, and outcrops of round boulders accented by dark foliage dots and a few foreground trees. But Shen simplified Huang's complex brush idiom to a few brush conventions and a narrow range of ink tonalities, and he reduced Huang's richly articulated compositional structure to a geometric scheme of repeated diagonals in which the wedge-shaped foreground, receding stream, echelon of successively taller trees, and distant mountain slope all point toward the upper right, where he added a poetic inscription that places his visual tone-poem in context:

Sparse paulownia leaves bring drops of morning dew,
East of the ancient city in the rising sun's slanting rays,
Swallows fly low over the overflowing pond.
Thus I know that tonight the spring rain will be plentiful,
How fitting that fish should leap and ducks swim.

On the twentieth day of the last [lunar] month of spring in the dingyou year [May 2, 1477], I lodged on a boat to
the east of the city with Weide. After the rain, everything grew quiet. I did this picture and poem to capture the mood.

In response to Shen's poem, his close friend Wu Kuan added a poem following the same rhyme scheme along with the observation that the harbor Shen has described is none other than the one fronting a farmhouse owned by Wu's family.
Signature: Artist's inscription and signature (6 columns in running script)

East of the ancient city in the setting sun's slanting rays,
Swallows fly low over the overflowing pond.
Thus I know that tonight the spring rain will be plentiful,
How fitting that fish should leap and ducks alight.

On the twentieth day of the last month of spring in the dingyou year (1477), I lodged on a boat to the east of the city with [Zhou] Weide. After the rain, everything grew quiet. I did this picture and poem to capture the mood. Shen Zhou

The Weide mentioned in Shen's inscription is very likely Zhou Weide, a man for whom Shen executed an important album of twenty-two paintings that he began in 1477 and completed five years later in 1482; see Cahill 1978, pp. 87-88 and color plates 4 and 5. This translation has benefited from the previous work of Wan-go Weng (Christie's 1988, lot 30, p. 36) and the assistance of Shi-yee Liu.

Artist's seal

Qi'nan

Artist’s inscription and signature (6 columns in running script)
古城東畔日斜時,
燕子低飛水漫池。
知是夜來春雨足,
跳魚浴鴨總相宜。
丁酉春季念日與[周 ]惟德同客城東舟寓。雨後人境俱寂,為圖與詩頗得其趣。沈周

Artist's seal
啟南

Inscription: Colophon (mounted above the painting)

Wu Kuan (1436–1504), 5 columns in running script

When it rains on the green mountains beyond the city wall,
Flowers fall, catkins fly, and swallows flutter across the pond.
The poetic feeling of spring-who is able to capture it?
Boatman Creek is the most fitting place.

My family has fields and a house to the east of the city. Beside the house is Boatman Creek. Shitian [Shen Zhou] once anchored a boat at this place-his so-called "boat lodging." I suspect that it is just this place that he has [painted]. Wu Kuan

Colophon writer’s seal

Yuanbo

Colophon (mounted above the painting)
Wu Kuan (1436–1504), 5 columns in running script

郭外青山過雨時,
落花飛絮燕差池。
一春詩意誰收得,
艇子浜頭恐最宜。
予家有田舍在城東。舍外有 浜 艇子。 石田嘗泊舟于此,所謂舟寓。疑即其處 故及之。 吳寬

Colophon writer’s seal
Yuanbo 原博

Marking: Collectors' seals

Yao Hongdao (unidentified)
Yao Hongdao yin
Pan Meilin (unidentified)
Meilin Pan shi jiacang
Hua Qi (unidentified)
Xishan Hua Qi Tianhe jiacang
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)
Zhang Yuan
Daqian shu
Nan bei dong xi zhi you xiang sui we bei li
Dafeng Tang zhencang yin

Collectors' seals

姚弘道
姚弘道印

潘梅林
林潘氏家藏

華綺
錫山華綺天和家藏

張大千
張爰
大千鉥
南北東西之育相隨無別離
大風堂珍藏印
Related Objects

Summer and Paulownia Tree (A Page from the Jie Zi Yuan)

Artist: Original painted by Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509) Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: CP42 On view in:Not on view

Autumn Colors among Streams and Mountains

Artist: Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509) Date: ca. 1490–1500 Medium: Handscroll; ink on paper Accession: 1979.75.1 On view in:Gallery 214

Flowers of the Four Seasons

Artist: Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509) Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 1982.205 On view in:Not on view

Silent Angler in an Autumn Wood

Artist: Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509) Date: dated 1475 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 1989.363.46 On view in:Not on view

Poem for Hanwen

Artist: Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509) Date: dated 1493 Medium: Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on gold-flecked paper Accession: 1989.363.47 On view in:Not on view