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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

南宋 佚名 泛舟柳塘圖 團扇
Boating by a Willow Bank

Unidentified Artist Chinese, active 13th century
Song dynasty (960–1279)
13th century
Fan mounted as an album leaf; ink and color on silk
9 3/16 x 9 13/16 in. (23.3 x 24.9 cm); with mat: 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (39.4 x 39.4 cm)
Credit Line:
From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
Not on view
Evoking the scenery of Hangzhou's West Lake, this painting shows a gentleman being paddled across a placid inlet between a profusion of water lilies and a shore lined with willows. The composition recalls that of Li Jie's Fisherman's Lodge at Xisai of about 1170. As the boat glides through the silvery moonlight, stillness reigns on the cool, scented water. The simplicity of the painting recalls the spare imagery of a Tang-dynasty (618–907) quatrain:

Willows still by a lotus bank,
A boat drifts slowly by.
Ahead, tall grass, blue distant hills,
White moon in golden sky.
Signature: Seal: not read

Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature or seal

Collectors' seals

Songshi xianyi 松石閑意
Changle 長樂

Illegible: 1 (on mounting)
[ A. W. Bahr , until 1947; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peach Blossom Spring," November 21, 1983–June 3, 1984.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Traditional Scholarly Values at the End of the Qing Dynasty: The Collection of Weng Tonghe (1830–1904)," June 30, 1998–January 3, 1999.

New York. China Institute in America. "West Lake and the Mapping of Southern Song Art," September 13, 2001–December 9, 2001.

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