Unidentified Artists Chinese, 13th c. (1st half scroll); 14th c. (2nd half)
Handscroll; ink and color on paper
Image: 18 3/16 x 66 1/4 in. (46.2 x 168.3 cm) Overall with mounting: 18 9/16 x 254 3/4 in. (47.1 x 647.1 cm)
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Not on view
The disparities in paper, pigment, and style between the two halves of this painting make it clear that they are by different hands and from different periods. In the first half of the painting, the horses and figures are well drawn and there is a rough vigor in the depiction of the landscape and trees. The shading of the land forms and the bold modulated outlines defining the figures, who wear typical Khitan costumes, most closely resemble murals done in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in north China, then ruled by the Khitan Liao dynasty (907–1125). In the second half, the unmodulated, "iron-wire" lines used to describe the drapery folds of the rider, the heavy outline of the rock, and the dry calligraphic texture of the tree suggest a fourteenth-century date.
Inscription: Artists’ signature
Qianli 千里 [Zhao Boju, active 1120–1160] (spurious)