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明 謝時臣 四時佳興圖 軸 四幅
Landscapes of the Four Seasons

Artist:
Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1560
Culture:
China
Medium:
Set of four hanging scrolls; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image (a): 126 3/8 x 37 in. (321 x 94 cm) Image (b): 127 1/4 x 36 7/8 in. (323.2 x 93.7 cm) Image (c): 126 3/4 x 36 7/8 in. (321.9 x 93.7 cm) Image (d): 126 7/8 x 36 7/8 in. (322.3 x 93.7 cm) Overall with mounting (b): 141 3/4 x 42 3/8 in. (360 x 107.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.590a–d
Not on view
These two paintings belong to a set of enormous landscapes depicting the four seasons. They are all similarly composed, with large figures at the bottom and towering mountains above. Each season has its own narrative. In the springtime scene (right), two gentlemen on horseback cross a bridge with their servants. In the summer scene (left), travelers struggle against a strong wind, while a gentleman in a pavilion observes the storm.

In his paintings Xie Shichen creates spaces that are poetic rather than representational, incorporating narrative vignettes and stylistic references to past masters. Here, he skillfully blends two distinct modes of painting. The first, favored by professional painters, is that of the Zhe School, which tended toward large-scale narrative subjects. The second is ascribed to the Wu School, whose calligraphic approach to landscapes was preferred by scholar-amateurs.
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions and signatures

Scroll A (2 columns in semi-cursive script):

平湖煙柳
樗仙謝時臣寫。

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

溪山風雨
謝時臣作。

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

秋峽雲濤
謝時臣筆。

Scroll D (2 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1560):

囗門霽雪
嘉靖庚申蘇郡囗囗謝時臣寫意。


Artist's seals

姑蘇臺下逸人
樗僲囗囗
嘉靖壬子時年六十六
樗僲
謝氏思忠
七十四翁
樗僲翁
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Listening to the Zither Among Streams and Pines

Artist: Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1982.1.9a, b On view in:Not on view

Spring Landscape with Plum Blossoms, Scholar and Deer

Artist: Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567) Date: dated 1548 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 52.177.20 On view in:Not on view

Landscape with Figure

Artist: Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567) Medium: Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on gold paper Accession: 13.100.81 On view in:Not on view

Spring Morning in the Mountains

Artist: Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1991.342 On view in:Not on view