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清 龔賢 自題山水十六開 冊
Ink Landscapes with Poems

Artist:
Gong Xian (Chinese, 1619–1689)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
dated 1688
Culture:
China
Medium:
Album of sixteen paintings; ink on paper
Dimensions:
10 13/16 x 14 1/16in. (27.5 x 35.7cm) Overall with mounting: 16 1/8 x 22 7/8in. (41 x 58.1cm) painting/calligraphy: 13 15/16 x 20 9/16in. (35.4 x 52.2cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.516.2a–c
Not on view
In this album of painting and poetry, made one year before his death, Gong Xian exhibits a luminous self-confidence and contentment. The hermit's favorite haunts in and around Nanjing are compared to the abodes of the immortals. As an art teacher and the author of several manuals on painting, Gong perfected an ink-wash and dotting technique that enabled him to achieve both incredible density and translucency. In these remarkable works, Gong attains new heights in painting simultaneously with words and images.
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions[1]

Leaf A (11 columns in semi-cursive script):

Surely there are human dwellings in this secluded place;
In this thatch hut I shall rest from my travels;
At midnight I sit facing a pitcher of wine,
Watching moonlight on the cold pond [under a waterfall] that evokes a sipping white dragon.

定有人家在深處,來支草閣息游蹤。
中宵坐對一壺酒,月照寒潭飲白龍。

Leaf B (2 columns in semi-cursive script):

In the pavilion where Prince Zhaoming [501–531] used to study,
Books and scrolls have remained to wait for my arrival.
On all sides, mountains and waters extend endlessly;
To catch the breeze, eight long windows are open wide.

昭明太子讀書臺,卷軸猶存待我來。
四面山光波萬頃,召風八牖一時開。

Leaf C (2 columns in semi-cursive script):

A bell strikes in the old temple, but the temple gate is barred.
The homing birds, fighting for a perch, have not yet settled down.
Along the distant horizon the great river appears white,
While a man with a wine jar ascends the Sunset Pavilion.[2]

鐘敲古寺寺門扃,谷鳥爭栖尚未寧。
正是大江天際白,挈尊人上夕陽亭。

Artist’s seals

Gong Xian 龔賢 [Leaf A]
Qingliang Shan xia ren 清涼山下人 [Leaf B]
Banqian 半千 [Leaf C]

Collectors’ seals
Jin Cheng 金城 (1878–1926)
Wuxing Jin Cheng zhencang 吳興金城珍藏
Jin Gongbo jingjian yin 金鞏伯精鋻印
Gongbo 鞏伯
Gongbo pingsheng zhenshang 鞏伯平生真賞

Zhang Xueliang 張學良 (1898–2001)
Hanqing suocang 漢卿所藏
Zhang Xueliang yin 張學良印
Zhang Hanqing jia zhencang 張漢卿家珍藏

Zhao Yidi 趙一荻 (1912–2000)
Xiangsheng guomu 香笙過目

Note
See 1981.4.1a–o for the other 13 landscapes and two leaves of artist’s colophon dated 1688.

[1] Translations from Department records.
[2] This line may refer to Yang Zhen (died 124), a Grand Commandant in the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220), who, after being falsely slandered, climbed to the Sunset Pavilion near Luoyang and died from poisoned wine sent by the emperor.
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