元 趙蒼雲 劉晨阮肇入天台山圖 卷 Liu Chen and Ruan Zhao Entering the Tiantai Mountains
Zhao Cangyun (Chinese, active late 13th–early 14th century)
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
Handscroll; ink on paper
Image: 8 7/8 in. x 18 ft. 5 in. (22.5 cm x 564 cm)
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, 2005
Not on view
Painted by a member of the Song royal family who lived through the Mongol conquest, this handscroll, which revives the monochrome drawing style of the scholar-artist Li Gonglin (ca. 1041–1106), chronicles the legend of two men of the Han dynasty who stumble upon a magical realm of immortals. Returning home after what seemed like half a year, they discover that seven generations have come and gone and that they are alone in the world. The men’s loss of home and paradise evokes the disorientation and alienation felt by many of the Chinese elite following the fall of the Song dynasty in 1279.
What little we know of the artist is contained in the colophons mounted after the painting. The first, by Hua Youwu (1307–after 1386), describes Zhao Cangyun as an artist known for “boneless” (without outlines) ink-wash landscapes and delicate figure paintings. Hua also states that the artist was more famous in his youth than his fellow clansmen Zhao Mengjian (1199–before 1267) and Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322). As Zhao Cangyun withdrew to the mountains and lived as a recluse, never marrying or serving as an official, no documentation, except this scroll, survives.
#7414. Liu Chen and Ruan Zhao Entering the Tiantai Mountains
Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (1907–2003) Wang Jiqian shi shending zhenji 王季遷氏審定真跡
Unidentified seal Zhuchuang lao ??? (half seal) 竹窗老囗囗囗
Oscar L. Tang Family , New York (until 2005; donated to MMA)
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. "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. "Art of the Brush: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy," March 12, 2005–August 14, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Journeys: Mapping the Earth and Mind in Chinese Art," February 10, 2007–August 26, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Yuan Revolution: Art and Dynastic Change," August 21, 2010–January 9, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats," August 18, 2012–January 6, 2013.
Seoul. National Museum of Korea. "Landscapes: Seeking the Ideal World," July 22, 2014–September 21, 2014.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection I," October 31, 2015–October 11, 2016.