Art/ Collection/ Art Object

五代 傳董元 溪岸圖 軸

Attributed to Dong Yuan (Chinese, active 930s–960s)
Southern Tang dynasty (937–76)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 86 3/4 × 43 in. (220.3 × 109.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 11 ft. 1/2 in. × 48 in. (336.6 × 121.9 cm) Overall with knobs: 11 ft. 1/2 in. × 53 in. (336.6 × 134.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, in memory of Douglas Dillon, 2016
Accession Number:
Not on view
During the chaotic years following the collapse of the Tang dynasty in 907, centralized rule was shattered and China splintered into a number of short-lived kingdoms. Among the most important of these was the Southern Tang dynasty (937–75), which governed much of the lower Yangzi River delta from its capital at Nanjing. It was there that a distinctive “southern” style of landscape painting developed under the court official and artist Dong Yuan.

Riverbank epitomizes Dong Yuan’s new style, with its absence of contour lines and use of subtle ink washes and soft-rubbed texture strokes to describe the distinctive rounded hills and earthen slopes of southeastern China. The depiction of a scholar-hermit living in elegant reclusion likewise established a lasting thematic ideal. Darkened with age, the scroll, the tallest of all surviving early Chinese landscape paintings, marks the majestic inception of the monumental landscape tradition.

The scroll was split in two along its vertical seam during the fourteenth century. The left-hand side of the composition, with its tall foreground trees backed by an impenetrable screen of thrusting and twisting mountain forms, inspired a major revival of the Dong Yuan style among scholar-artists of the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368).
#7416. Riverbank
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Signature: Painted by the Assistant Administrator of the Rear Park, Servitor Dong [Yuan].


Inscription: Label strip

Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983), 1 column in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

董源 《溪岸圖》 真跡神品,趙漚波、柯丹丘遺藏,大風堂永充供養。 [印]: 昵燕[張大千]、懷雲樓[王季遷]


Ye Gongchuo 葉恭綽 (1881–1968), 1 line in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal (mounted on the back of the mounting below the painting):

《溪岸圖》 南唐後苑副使董源畫,張氏大風堂供養, 葉恭綽題。 [印]: 葉恭綽印

Marking: Collectors' seals

Jia Sidao 賈似道 (1213–1275)
Yuesheng (damaged) 悅生
Qiuhuo 秋壑

Ke Jiusi 柯九思 (1290–1343)
Danqiu Ke Jiusi zhang 丹丘柯九思章
Ke shi Jingzhong 柯氏敬仲
Ke shi qingwan 柯氏清玩

Ming palace inventory half-seal (ca. 1373–84)
[Jicha] Si yin [紀察]司印

Zhao Yuqin 趙與懃 (1170s/1180s–?) or his descendant (16th–17th c.)
Tianshui Jun shoucang yinji (partially damaged) 天水郡收藏書畫印記

Zhang Shanzi 張善子 (1882–1940)
Shanzi xinshang 善子心賞

Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983)
Zhibao shi bao 至寶是寳
Daqian haomeng 大千好夢
Bufu guren gao houren 不負古人告後人
Daqian zhibao 大千至寶
Zhang shi baocang 張氏寳藏
Xiao Xiang hualou 瀟湘畫樓
Qiutubao gurouqing 球圖寳骨肉情
Dafeng Tang zhenwan 大風堂珍玩
Nanbei dongxi zhiyou xiangsui wu bieli 南北東西只有相隨無別離
Bieshi Rongyi 別時容易

Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (己千,C. C. Wang, 1907–2003)
Wang Jiqian haiwai suojian mingji (impressed twice, one is a half-seal.)
Jiqian xinshang 季遷心賞

Unidentified: 1
Oscar L. Tang Family , New York, until 2016; donated to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Artist as Collector: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the C.C.Wang Family Collection," September 2, 1999–January 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cultivated Landscapes: Reflections of Nature in Chinese Painting with Selections from the Collection of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill," September 10, 2002–February 9, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Douglas Dillon Legacy: Chinese Painting for the Metropolitan Museum," March 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.

National Palace Museum. "Grand View: Painting and Calligraphy of the Northern Sung," July 1, 2006–September 25, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632–1717)," September 9, 2008–January 4, 2009.

Shanghai Museum. "Masterpieces of Chinese Tang, Song and Yuan Paintings from America," November 3, 2012–January 3, 2013.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection II," May 7, 2016–October 11, 2016.

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