Gong Xian fled Nanjing when the city fell to the Manchus in 1645, and during this chaotic period, several members of his family perished. "Preserved through reclusion and purified in retirement," Gong came to terms with himself as an yimin, "leftover subject," under the new Qing dynasty.
The loose treatment of landscape elements in this album, as defined by bold contour lines and repetitive clusters of dots, is indicative of its late date, probably around 1688. The contrast between pale ink washes and dark dots that enabled Gong to achieve both incredible density and translucency in his paintings is echoed by the contrasting dark and pale passages in his poetic inscriptions, which reflect the artist's spontaneous reinking of his brush.
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions and signature
Leaf A (5 columns in semi-cursive script):
Leaf B (2 columns in semi-cursive script):
Leaf C [No Inscription]
Leaf D (5 columns in semi-cursive script):
一層明月照秋江， 跳躑徐窺銀鯽雙。 醉後老漁歌一曲， 梨園婀娜不成腔。
Leaf E (2 columns in semi-cursive script):
Leaf F (2 columns in semi-cursive script):
儘似漁郎歸去後， 空船拋在月明中。 龔賢
龔賢印 (Leaf A, C, D, E, F) 半千 (Leaf B, F)
Hu Xiaozhuo 胡小琢 （19th c.） 胡小琢藏 (Leaf A, B, C, F) 得一軒藏 (Leaf F)