This exquisite representation of an orchid, signed by Ma Lin, son of Ma Yuan (act. ca. 1190-1225), exemplifies the style of formal realism favored by the aristocratic Southern Song court. The simple asymmetrical balance of flowers and leaves, meticulously rendered in subtle shades of lavender, white, and malachite green, bespeaks a consciously aestheticizing sensibility. Such flower paintings recall late Southern Song lyric poems about flowers.
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南宋 馬麟 蘭花圖 冊頁 絹本
Artist:Ma Lin (Chinese, ca. 1180– after 1256)
Period:Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
Date:second quarter of the 13th century
Medium:Album leaf; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:Image: 10 7/16 x 8 7/8 in. (26.5 x 22.5 cm)
Credit Line:Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of The Dillon Fund, 1973
Inscription: Artist's signature (2 characters in standard script)
Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1906–2003) Zhuli Guan 竹裏舘 Jiqian xinshang 季遷心賞
Unidentified Zhang Wei 張偉 Nei ? Shufang 内囗書房
C. C. Wang Family New York (by 1949–1973: 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. "Peach Blossom Spring," November 21, 1983–June 3, 1984.
Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "The Mandate of Heaven: Emperors and Artists in China," April 2, 1996–July 7, 1996.
Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Mandate of Heaven: Emperors and Artists in China," August 3, 1996–November 10, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.
Washington, DC. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Roy Lichtenstein: Landscapes in the Chinese Style," November 8, 1998–February 7, 1999.
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. China Institute in America. "West Lake and the Mapping of Southern Song Art," September 13, 2001–December 9, 2001.
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–August 8, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28–August 13, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Anatomy of a Masterpiece: How to Read Chinese Paintings," March 1–August 10, 2008.
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. "The Art of the Chinese Album," September 6, 2014–March 29, 2015.
Fong, Wen C., and Marilyn Fu. Sung and Yuan Paintings. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973, pp. 68, 81, 142–43, cat. no. 11.
Cahill, James. An Index of Early Chinese Painters and Paintings: T'ang, Sung, and Yüan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
Suzuki Kei 鈴木敬, ed. Chûgoku kaiga sogo zuroku: Daiikan, Amerika-Kanada Hen 中國繪畫總合圖錄: 第一卷 アメリカ - カナダ 編 (Comprehensive illustrated catalog of Chinese paintings: vol. 1 American and Canadian collections) Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1982, pp. 8–9, cat. no. A1-021.
Barnhart, Richard M. Along the Border of Heaven: Sung and Yüan Paintings from the C. C. Wang Family Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983, pp. 92–94, fig. 39.
Morris, Edwin T. The Gardens of China: History, Art and Meanings. New York: Scribner, 1983, p. 41.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Asia. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987, pp. 76–77, pl. 44.
Fong, Wen C. Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 8th–14th Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, p. 301, pl. 66.
Lee, Hui-shu. Exquisite Moments: West Lake & Southern Song Art. Exh. cat. New York: China Institute in America, 2001, p. 115, cat. no. 29.
Hearn, Maxwell K. How to Read Chinese Paintings. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008, pp. 68–69, cat. no. 14.
He Muwen 何慕文 (Hearn, Maxwell K.). Ruhe du Zhongguo hua: Daduhui Yishu Bowuguan cang Zhongguo shuhua jingpin daolan 如何读中国画 : 大都会艺术博物馆藏中国书画精品导览 (How to read Chinese paintings) Translated by Shi Jing 石静. Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2015, pp. 68–69, cat. no. 14.
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