Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on alum paper
7 11/16 x 21 1/4 in. (19.5 x 54 cm)
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Not on view
Were it not for the inscription, Lin Shu's painting might be taken for an idealized mountain landscape with a generic scholar gazing from a bridge. Lin writes that he has visited the wonderful caves and peaks of Wenzhou in Zhejiang, and that he is painting this fan as a "preview" for a friend who will accompany him on the same trip the following day.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: Lin Shu Dated 7th month of 1921
Artist's seal: Seal of Lin Shu (square, white characters)
Artist's inscription: According to Li Xiaogong's essay, there is a mountain standing in the North that rises from the flat ground like a bamboo shoot. When you get close, you see the two huge rocks leaning against each other. They tower one hundred feet into the sky. This was once called "Spiritual Peak". Today it is named "Guanyin Cave". The peak is cut in tow, and looks as dark and shadowy as ink. Inside there is a pavilion of many levels from which there is a view of endless cloud-covered cliffs. At the left side there is a cave called Fuhu [Capture the Tiger]. The shape is like the Fangguang Dongtian [name of a cave], but there is no pearl curtain. In the fourth month of 1921 I stayed in Fuhu Cave while it rained heavily in the night. Tomorrow I am going to visit the Guanyin Cave. The H-zi Bridge is below it. There is a strange peak to the left of the bridge, obliquely to the east, several hundred feet above, with a rock pure green in color. The noisy stream comes out from under the bridge and flows to the west. Jiang Zhizhe who accompanied me, greatly praised the Lingyen [Spirit-peak]. I think this view is the most wonderful afforded in the world. Tomorrow we are going to Lingyen by small sedan to see the Dianzhu Summit. I am in high spirits to the point of drunkenness. I am writing an essay for Luojiang Taibao to describe the beauty of the two Spiritual Peaks, but I have not finished it yet. Now I am painting just the studio on the corner of the "Spiritual Peak". Later when Taibao visits there, he won't be a stranger.
Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth
Robert H. Ellsworth , New York (until 1986; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Painting: Selections from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection," February 2, 1988–September 25, 1988.