Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清 佚名 清明上河圖 卷
Spring Festival on the River

Unidentified Artist
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
18th century?
Handscroll; ink and color on silk
11 3/4 in. x 33 ft. (29.8 x 1004.6 cm)
Credit Line:
From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
Not on view
In the early twelfth century the court artist Zhang Zeduan painted a handscroll depicting the Northern Song capital of Bianliang (Kaifeng) at the time of the Spring Festival (Qingming jie). Zhang's painting, which lovingly and minutely describes the daily life of the capital's inhabitants, became the paradigm for more than forty later evocations of this theme. This version, which is longer, compositionally more complex, and more brilliantly colored than the Song original, reflects the stylistic innovations of the Suzhou professional painter Qiu Ying (ca. 1495–1552), whose signature has been added at the end. But there are several reasons for assigning the scroll to a later date. Not only is the execution less meticulous than that of genuine works by Qiu, but the addition of elaborate palaces, a display of horsemanship and archery skills, an imperial procession, and a hunt— none of which appear in the original—point to the influence of imperially sponsored commemorative paintings that originated with the Southern Inspection Tour of the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662–1722).
Inscription: No artist’s inscription or signature

Artist's seal

Shizhou 十州 (spurious seal of Qiu Ying 仇英)


Chen Jiru 陳繼儒 (1558–1639), 4 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

仇實父雅擅文藻,精於繪事,此圖設色秀潤,布置幽深,有一種蕭散之致撲人眉睫,真逸品也。眉道人陳繼儒 [印]:大方伯章

Collectors' seals

Sun Chuanting 孫傳廷 (1593–1643)
Sun Chuanting yin 孫傳廷印

Yun Shouping 惲壽平 (1633–1690)
Yun Zhengshu 惲正叔

A. W. Bahr (1877–1959)
Either graphic seal or in Japanese script

[ A. W. Bahr , until 1947; sold to MMA]
National Museum of History, Taipei. "Qingming Festival on the River," February 1, 1984–May 1, 1984.

New York. Asia Society. "The Image and the Word: Buddhist Manuscript Illuminations," April 9, 1987–June 7, 1987.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.

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