Unidentified Artist , fake signature of Zhao Boju (died ca. 1162)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Handscroll; ink and color on silk
20 1/4 x 83 1/4 in. (51.4 x 211.5 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
This fanciful painting bears a suite of false inscriptions and seals, including a fake signature of the twelfth-century court painter Zhao Boju. Zhao was famous for his blue-green landscapes, and many paintings bearing his name were produced in later centuries, some intended to fool collectors and others as charming reproductions. This painting, likely made in the seventeenth century, belongs to the latter category. The intense palette of azurite blue and malachite green, and the scalloped clouds that cling to the mountains, signals a magical, mysterious place that is difficult to access and inhabited by supernatural beings.
Signature: Signed: "Zhao Boju by imperial order, copies the style of Li Zhaodao".
Inscription: "Hai Tian Xu Ri ["Sea and Sky at Sunrise"], inscribed by the emperor, in the Bao Ho Dian".
Following this inscription is a mark "hua ya" abbreviated and often unintelligible signature, presumably that of Emperor Gaozong of the Song dynasty, and seal reading "Shaoxing", the reign title of the emperor.
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China," August 26, 2017–January 6, 2019.