Art/ Collection/ Art Object

南宋 米友仁 雲山圖 卷
Cloudy Mountains

Mi Youren (Chinese, 1074–1151)
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
before 1200
Handscroll; ink on paper
Image: 10 7/8 × 22 7/16 in. (27.6 × 57 cm)
Overall with mounting: 11 3/16 in. × 24 ft. 6 3/16 in. (28.4 × 747.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Purchase, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1973
Accession Number:
Not on view
The son of Mi Fu (1052–1107), Mi Youren was an accomplished scholar-artist and the leading connoisseur of his time, often acting as the authenticator of ancient paintings for the emperor. He rose to the position of vice president of the Board of War. The simplified, blurry mountain forms, which Mi Youren inherited from his father (there is no longer any reliable example of the older Mi's painted work), represent a significant break from the detailed Northern Sung landscape styles. Created with wet ink dots (called "Mi-family dots"), this style of landscape painting is the immediated predecessor of the evocative ink-wash landscape style of the later Southern Song period. Referred to by scholar-artists as "ink play," the style suggests the importance of the painter's psychological expression, thereby raising the status of painting to that of poetry and calligraphy.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal

Label strip

Wu Hufan 吳湖帆 (1894–1968), 2 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal:

The Cloudy Mountains by Mi Yuanhui [Mi Youren] of the Song dynasty, a genuine work of the divine class. Treasured in the collection of [Xu] Bangda [1911–2012], inscribed by [Wu] Hufan. [Seal]: Qian An

宋米元暉 《雲山圖》 卷真跡神品。邦達珍藏,湖帆題簽。[印]: 倩庵


1. Wang Jie 王介 (active ca. 1200), 7 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1200; no seals:


2. Xianyu Shu 鮮于樞 (1257–1302), 11 columns in running-cursive script, dated 1290; 4 seals:

Poetry critics say that if one has ten ideas but puts into words only three, one may then compare with the Li sao and the Odes. I thnk the same is true with painting. An artisan's painting is short in ideas but good at capturing formal likeness, which is opposite to the works of lofty and superior scholars. The paintings by the two Mis are of the latter kind. In this piece of paper, if one speaks of clear delineation then anyone can do it. But in the representation of trees and sloping banks, the color of the grass echoes that of the earth, and the ideas embedded in the stretch of river shore lie beyond the actual brushwork, which no one can match.[1] [Seals]: Xianyu, Boji yinzhang, Hulin yin li, Zhonshan hou ren

說詩者云:“命意十分,下語三分,可並騷雅。”予於畫亦云。蓋工人之畫短於命意,而長於形似,至於高人勝士則反是,二米之作近之矣。此紙若論頭頂,誰不能到。樹林坡岸草色與土相兼,一段江臯,意在筆外,它人不能及也。至元庚寅夏六月五日虎林隱吏書於寓舍之困學齋。 [印]: 鮮于、伯幾印章、虎林隱吏、中山后人

3. Guo Tianxi 郭天錫 (active ca. 1227–1302), 4 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

米翁胸次含二李 思訓、昭道也,雲樹江村晻靄間。
金城郭天錫祐之 [印]: 北山居士

4. Fang Mian 方勉 (active mid-15th c.), 10 columns in semi-cursive and standard scripts, dated 1437; 3 seals:

少聞故老謂米元暉畫形意俱到,為當時江南繪事稱首。予羇宦二十餘年,未嘗見其真筆,今觀是幅,信如故老所謂。愛弗忍舍,故為題之。正統二年夏前進士監察御史方勉識。 [印]: 好古、抱大朴之高風、懋德之章

5. Song Zheng 宋拯 (active mid-15th c.), 13 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1438 (?)[2] ; 1 seal:

庖丁解牛,奏刀騞然,協桑林之舞,中經首之會,天機流動,有不知其然而然者,寧獨庖之於解也為然耶。伯昏氏之於射也,泰豆氏之於馭也亦然。觀元暉之於畫也,始知莊別[應作列]前所云者,非但寓言,特發揮夫天機流動之不可遏焉耳。煙水雲山皆吾畫笥,疎林古木皆吾畫譜。興酣一揮,千里之遠萃于咫尺,安得醉李永歌之、醉顛疾書之于左方,以成夫三絕之妙也夫。正統戊子蕤賓節金陵宋拯拜手書。 [印]: 相門後裔

Collectors’ seals

Lu You 陸友 (active about 1280–1340)
Lu You zhi yin 陸友之印

Liang Qingbiao 梁清標 (1620–1691)
Liang Qingbiao yin 梁清標印
Tangcun (twice) 棠村
Jiaolin jianding 蕉林鋻定
Jiaolin miwan 蕉林祕玩
Jiaolin Shuwu 蕉林書屋
Cangyanzi 蒼岩子
Cangyan 蒼岩
Guan qi dalue 觀其大略

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–95)
Shiqu baoji 石渠寳笈
Baoji sanbian 寳笈三編
Sanxi Tang jingjian xi 三希堂精鋻璽
Yi zisun 宜子孫

Qing emperor Jiaqing 清帝嘉慶 (r. 1796–1820)
Jiaqing jianshang 嘉慶鋻賞
Jiaqing yulan zhi bao 嘉慶御覽之寳

Qing emperor Xuantong 清帝宣統 (r. 1909–11)
Xuantong jianshang 宣統鋻賞
Wuyi Zhai jingjian xi 無逸齋精鋻璽

Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003)
Wang Jiqian haiwai suojian mingji 王季遷海外所見名跡
Wang Jiqian yin 王季遷印
Jiqian jianding 季遷鋻定
Wang shi Jiqian zhencang zhi yin 王氏季遷珍藏之印
Jiqian xinshang 季遷心賞
Zhenze Wang shi Baowu Tang tushu ji 震澤王氏寳武堂圖書記
Zhenze Wang shi Jiqian shoucang yin 震澤王氏季遷收藏印
Huaiyun Lou jianshang shuhua zhi ji 懷雲樓鋻賞書畫之記
Huaiyun Lou 懷雲樓
Zhuli Guan 竹里舘
Wu zhong yi huaren 吳中一畫人

Xu Bangda 徐邦達 (1911–2012)
Xinyuan Caotang 心遠草堂

Yefang Ting qingshang 野芳亭清賞
Jianding zhenji 鋻定真跡
? shi ?? zisun yong bao zhi 囗氏囗囗子孫永寳之
Qiangua 乾卦
Qianshen huashi (four times) 前身畫師
Qian 歉
Xinyu 新宇
Liu cao huo ? 柳草活囗
? hua ? you 囗畫囗友
Han Taizhongdafu shijia 漢太中大夫世家
Wuhuai Daoren 無懷道人

Illegible: 3

[1] Translation from Department records.
[2] There was no wuzi year during the Zhengtong reign era. It may be a mistake for the wuwu year [1438].
[ C. C. Wang Family , New York, until 1973; sold to MMA]
New York. Asia House Gallery. "The Art of Southern Sung China," 1962.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Song and Yuan Paintings: Exhibition of Newly Acquired Chinese Paintings," November 1, 1973–January 20, 1974.

London. British Museum. "Song and Yuan Paintings," November 7, 1975–January 4, 1976.

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. "The World of Scholars' Rocks: Gardens, Studios, and Paintings," February 1, 2000–August 20, 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. "Chinese Painting, Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," August 28, 2004–February 20, 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. "Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632–1717)," September 9, 2008–January 4, 2009.

London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700–1900," October 26, 2013–January 19, 2014.

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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