Nine Songs, After Zhao Mengfu (Chinese, 1254–1322), Album of eleven paintings; ink on paper, China

元 佚名 倣趙孟頫 九歌圖 冊
Nine Songs

After Zhao Mengfu (Chinese, 1254–1322)
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
14th century (?)
Album of eleven paintings; ink on paper
10 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. (26.4 x 15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Fletcher Fund, 1973
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Nine Songs are lyrical, shamanistic incantations dedicated to nine classes of deities worshipped by the Chu people of south China during the first millennium B.C. The original text consists of eleven songs, ten of which are transcribed and illustrated here. The illustrations are preceded by a portrait of the poet Qu Yuan (343–277 B.C.), which is accompanied by an essay entitled "The Fisherman," recounting the poet's state of mind toward the end of his life.

Zhao Mengfu's paintings for the Nine Songs in the baimiao, or "white-drawing" style, are based on compositions by Li Gonglin (ca. 1041–1106) and were a primary source for later fourteenth-century paintings of this theme by Zhang Wu (active 1333–65) and others. Because the calligraphy in the album does not compare with the best of Zhao Mengfu's writing, it is probable that these leaves represent close, reliable copies of Zhao's important work, executed during the fourteenth century. One leaf, "The Lord of Clouds," is a later replacement (no earlier than the seventeenth century).
Inscription: Artist’s inscriptions and signature[1]

Leaf B (8 columns in standard script)

Portrait of Qu Yuan

When Qu Yuan was banished, he wandered, sometimes along the river’s banks, sometimes along with the marsh’s edge, singing as he went. His expression was dejected and his features emaciated. A fisherman caught sight of him.
‘Are not you the Lord of the Three Wards?’ said the fisherman. ‘What has brought you to this pass?’
‘Because all the world is muddy and I alone am clear,’ said Qu Yuan, ‘and because all men are drunk and I alone am sober, I have been sent into exile.’
‘The Wise Man is not chained to material circumstances,’ said the fisherman, ‘but can move as the world moves. If all the world is muddy, why not help them to stir up the mud and beat up the waves? And if all men are drunk, why not sup their dregs and swill their lees? Why get yourself exiled because of your deep thoughts and your fine aspirations?’
Qu Yuan replied, ‘I have heard it said: “He who has just washed his hair should brush his hat; and he who has just bathed should shake his clothes.” How can I submit my spotless purity to the dirt of others? I would rather cast myself into the waters of the river and be buried in the bowels of fishes than hide my shining light in the dark and dust of the world.’
The fisherman, with a faint smile, struck his paddle in the water and made off. And as he went he sang:
‘When the Cang-lang’s waters are clear,
I can wash my hat-strings in them;
When the Cang-lang’s waters are muddy,
I can wash my feet in them.’
With that he was gone, and did not speak again.


Leaf C (5 columns in standard script)

On a lucky day with an auspicious name
Reverently we come to delight the Lord on High.
We grasp the long sword’s haft of jade,
And our girdle pendants clash and chime.
From the god’s jewelled mat with treasures laden
Take up the fragrant flower-offerings,
The meats cooked in melilotus, served on orchid mats,
And libations of cinnamon wine and pepper sauces!
Flourish the drumsticks, beat the drums!
The singing begins softly to a slow, solemn measure:
Then, as pipes and zithers join in, the sound grows shriller.
Now the priestesses come, splendid in their gorgeous apparel,
And the hall is filled with a penetrating fragrance.
The five notes mingle in a rich harmony;
And the god is merry and takes his pleasure.

To the right is ‘The Great Unity, God of the Eastern Sky’

吉日兮辰良, 穆將愉兮上皇。
撫長劍兮玉珥, 璆鏘鳴兮琳琅。
瑤席兮玉瑱,   盍將把兮瓊芳。
蕙肴蒸兮蘭藉,  奠桂酒兮椒漿。
揚枹兮拊鼓,   疏緩節兮安歌,
靈偃蹇兮姣服,  芳霏霏兮滿堂。
五音紛兮繁會,  君欣欣兮樂康。


Leaf D (5 columns in standard script)

We have bathed in orchid water and washed our hair with perfumes,
And dressed ourselves like flowers in embroidered clothing.
The god has halted, swaying, above us,
Shining with a persistent radiance.
He is going to rest in the House of Life.
His brightness is like that of the sun and moon.
In his dragon chariot, dressed in imperial splendour,
Now he flies off to wander round the sky.

The god had just descended in bright majesty,
When off in a whirl he soared again, far into the clouds.
He looks down on Ji-zhou and the lands beyond it;
There is no place in the world that he does not pass over.
Thinking of that lord makes me sigh
And afflicts my heart with a grievous longing.

To the right is ‘The Lord within the Clouds’

浴蘭湯兮沐芳,  華采衣兮若英。
靈蜷兮既留,   爛昭昭兮未央。
謇將憺兮壽宮, 與日月兮齊光。
龍駕兮帝服,    聊翱翔遊兮周章。
靈皇皇兮既降,  焱遠舉兮雲中。
覽冀州兮有餘,  橫四海兮焉窮。
思夫君兮太息,  極勞心兮忡忡。


Leaf E (9 columns in standard script)

The goddess comes not, she holds back shyly.
Who keeps her delaying within the island,
Lady of the lovely eyes and the winning smile?
Skimming the water in my cassia boat,
I bid the Yuan and Xiang still their waves
And the Great River make its stream flow softly.
I look for the goddess, but she does not come yet.
Of whom does she think as she plays her reed-pipes?

North I go, drawn by my flying dragon,
Steering my course to the Dong-ting lake:
My sail is of fig-leaves, melilotus my rigging,
An iris my flag-pole, my banner of orchids.
Gazing at the distant Cen-yang mooring,
I waft my magic across the Great River.

I waft my magic, but it does not reach her.
The lady is sad, and sighs for me;
And my tears run down over cheek and chin:
I am choked with longing for my lady.

My cassia oars and orchid sweep
Chip all in vain at ice and snow.
I am gathering wild figs in the water!
I am looking for lotuses in the tree-tops!
The wooing is useless if hearts are divided;
The love that is not deep is quickly broken.

The stream runs fast through the stony shallows,
And my flying dragon wings swiftly above it.
The pain is more lasting if loving is faithless:
She broke her tryst; she told me she had not time.

In the morning I race by the bank of the river;
At evening I halt at this north island.
The birds are roosting on the roof-top;
The water laps at the foot of the hall.
I throw my thumb-ring into the river.
I leave my girdle-gem in the bay of the Li.
Pollia I‘ve plucked in the scent-laden islet
To give to the lady in the depths below.
Time once gone cannot be recovered:
I wish I could play here a little longer.

To the right is ‘The Goddess of the Xiang’

君不行兮夷猶,  蹇誰留兮中洲。
美要眇兮宜修,  沛吾乘兮桂舟。
令沅湘兮無波,  使江水兮安流。
望夫君兮未來,  吹參差兮誰思。

駕飛龍兮北征,  邅吾道兮洞庭。
薜荔柏兮蕙綢,  蓀橈兮蘭旌。
望涔陽之極浦,  橫大江兮揚靈。
揚靈兮未極,    女嬋媛兮為余太息。
橫流涕兮潺湲,  隱思君兮陫側。

桂櫂兮蘭枻,    斲冰兮積雪。
采薜荔兮水中,  騫芙蓉兮木末。
心不同兮媒勞,  恩不甚兮輕絕。
石瀨兮淺淺,    飛龍兮翩翩。
交不忠兮怨長,  期不信兮告余以不閒。

鼂騁騖兮江皋,  夕弭節兮北渚。
鳥次兮屋上,    水周兮堂下。
捐余玦兮江中,  遺余佩兮澧浦。
采芳洲之兮杜若, 將以遺兮下女。
時不可兮再得,  聊逍遙兮容與。


Leaf F (9 columns in standard script)

The Child of God, descending the northern bank,
Turns on me her eyes that are dark with longing.
Gently the wind of autumn whispers;
On the waves of the Dong-ting lake the leaves are falling.

Over the white sedge I gaze out wildly;
For a tryst is made to meet my love this evening.
But why should the birds gather in the duckweed?
And what ate the nets doing in the tree-tops?

The Yuan has its angelicas, the Li has its orchids:
And I think of my lady, but dare not tell it,
As with trembling heart I gaze on the distance
Over the swiftly moving waters.

What are the deer doing in the courtyard?
Or the water-dragons outside the waters?
In the morning I drive my steeds by the river;
In the evening I cross to the western shore.
I can hear my beloved calling to me:
I will ride aloft and race beside her.
I will build her a horse within the water
Roofed all over with lotus leaves;
With walls of iris, of purple shells the chamber;
Perfumed pepper shall make the hall.
With beams of cassia, orchid rafters,
Lily-tree lintel, a bower of peonies,
With woven fig-leaves for the hangings
And melilotus to make a screen;
Weights of white jade to hold the mats with,
Stone-orchids strewn to make the floor sweet:
A room of lotus thatched with the white flag
Shall all be bound up with stalks of asarum.

A thousand sweet flowers shall fill the courtyard,
And rarest perfumes shall fill the gates.
In host from their home on Doubting Mountain
Like clouds in number the spirits come thronging.

I’ll throw my thumb-ring into the river,
Leave my girdle-gem in the bay of the Li.
Sweet pollia I’ve plucked in the little islet
To send to my far-away Beloved.
Oh, rarely, rarely the time is given!
I wish I could play here a little longer.

To the right is ‘The Lady of the Xiang’

帝子降兮北渚,   目眇眇兮愁予。
嫋嫋兮秋風,    洞庭波兮木葉下。
登白薠兮騁望,  與佳期兮夕張。
鳥何萃兮蘋中,  罾何為兮木上?

沅有芷兮澧有蘭, 思公子兮未敢言。
荒忽兮遠望,    觀流水兮潺湲。
麋何為兮庭中,   蛟何為兮水裔。
朝馳余馬兮江皋, 夕濟兮西澨。
聞佳人兮召[余字點去]予, 將騰駕兮偕逝。

築室兮水中,    葺之兮荷蓋。
蓀壁兮紫壇,    匊芳椒兮成堂。
桂棟兮蘭橑,    辛夷楣兮葯房。
罔薜荔兮為帷,  擗蕙櫋兮既張。
白玉兮為鎮,    疏石蘭兮為芳。
芷葺兮荷屋,    繚之兮杜衡。

合百草兮實庭,  建芳馨兮廡門。
九嶷繽兮並迎,  靈之來兮如雲。
捐余袂兮江中,  遺余褋兮澧浦。
搴汀洲兮杜若,  將以遺兮遠者。
時不可兮驟得,  聊逍遙兮容與。


Leaf G (7 columns in standard script)

Open wide the door of heaven!
On a black cloud I ride in splendour,
Bidding the whirlwind drive before me,
Causing the rainstorm to lay the dust.

In sweeping circles my lord is descending:
‘Let me follow you over the Kong-sang mountain!
See, the teeming peoples of the Nine Lands:
The span of their lives is in your hand!’

Flying aloft, he soars serenely,
Riding the pure vapour, guiding yin and yang.
Speedily, lord, I will go with you,
Conducting High God to the height of heaven.

My cloud-coat hangs in billowing folds;
My jade girdle-pendants dangle low:
A yin and a yang, a yin and a yang:
None of the common folk know what I am doing.

I have plucked the glistening flower of the Holy Hemp
To give to one who lives far away.
Old age already has crept upon me:
I am no longer near him, fast growing a stranger.

He drives his dragon chariot with thunder of wheels;
High up he rides, careering heavenwards.
But I stand where I am, twisting a spray of cassia:
The longing for him pains my heart.

It pains my heart, but what can I do?
If we only could stay as we were, unchanging!
But all man’s life is fated;
Its meeting and partings not his to arrange.

To the right is ‘The Greater Master of Fate’

廣開兮天門,    紛吾乘兮玄雲。
令飄風兮先驅,   使凍雨兮灑塵。
君迴翔兮以下,   逾空桑兮從女。
紛捴捴兮九州, 何壽夭兮在予。

高飛兮安翔,    乘清風兮御陰陽。
吾與君兮齋速,   導帝之兮九坑。
靈衣兮被被,    玉佩兮離陸。 [末二字加點表示應易位]
壹陰兮壹[陰字點去]陽,  眾莫知兮余所為。

折疏麻兮瑤華,   將以遺兮離居。
老冉冉兮既極,  不寖近兮愈疏。
乘龍兮轔轔,    高駝兮沖天。
結桂枝兮延竚,  羌愈思兮愁人。
愁人兮奈何,    願若今兮無虧。
固人命兮有當,   孰離合兮可為。


Leaf H (7 columns in standard script)

The autumn orchid and the deer-parsley
Grow in a carpet below the hall;
The leaves of green and the pure white flowers
Assail me with their wafted fragrance.

The autumn orchids bloom luxuriant,
With leaves of green and purple stems.
All the hall is filled with lovely women,
But his eyes swiftly sought me out from the rest.

Without a word he came in to me, without a word he left me:
He rode off on the whirlwind with cloud-banners flying.
No sorrow is greater than the parting of the living;
No happiness is greater than making new friendships.

Wearing a lotus coat with melilotus girdle,
Quickly he came and as quickly departed.
At night he will lodge in the High God’s precincts.
‘Whom are you waiting for at the cloud’s edge?’

I will wash my hair with you in the Pool of Heaven;
You shall dry your hair on the Bank of Sunlight.
I watch for the Fair One, but he does not come.
Wildly I shout my song into the wind.

With peacock canopy and kingfisher banner,
He mounts the ninefold heaven and grasps the Broom Star;
He brandishes his long sword, protecting young and old:
‘You only, Fragrant One, are worthy to be judge over men.’

To the right is ‘The Lesser Master of Fate’

秋蘭兮麋蕪,    羅生兮堂下。
綠葉兮素枝,    芳菲菲兮襲予。
夫人兮自有美女, 蓀何以兮愁苦。

秋蘭兮青青,    綠葉兮紫莖。
滿堂兮美人,    忽獨與余兮目成。
入不言兮出不辭,  乘回風兮載雲旗。
悲莫悲兮生別離,  樂莫樂兮新相知。

荷衣兮蕙帶,    儵而來兮忽而逝。
夕宿兮帝郊,    君誰須兮雲之際。
與女遊兮九河, 衝風至兮水揚波。
與女沐兮咸池,   晞女髮兮陽之阿。
望媺人兮未徠,   臨風怳兮浩歌。
孔蓋兮翠旍,   登九天兮撫彗星。
慫長劍兮擁幼艾,  蓀獨宜兮為民正。


Leaf I (7 columns in standard script)

With a faint flush I start to come out of the east,
Shining down on my threshold, Fu-sang.
As I urge my horses slowly forwards,
The night sky brightens, and day has come.

I ride a dragon car and chariot on the thunder,
With cloud-banners fluttering upon the wind.
I heave a long sigh as I start the ascent,
Reluctant to leave, and looking back longingly;
For the beauty and the music are so enchanting,
The beholder, delighted, forgets that he must go.

Tighten the zither’s strings and smite them in unison!
Strike the bells until the bell-stand rocks!
Let the flutes sound! Blow the pan-pipes!
See the priestesses, how skilled and lovely,
Whirling and dipping like birds in flight,
Unfolding the words in time to the dancing,
Pitch and beat all in perfect accord!
The spirits, descending, darken the sun.

In my cloud-coat and my skirt of the rainbow,
Grasping my bow I soar high up in the sky.
I aim my long arrow and shoot the Wolf of Heaven;
I seize the Dipper to ladle cinnamon wine.
Then holding my reins, I plunge down to my setting,
On my gloomy night journey back to the east.

To the right is ‘The Lord of the East’

暾將出兮東方,   照吾檻兮扶桑。
撫余馬兮安驅,   夜皎皎兮既明。
駕龍輈兮乘雷,   載雲旗兮委蛇。
長太息兮將上,   心低徊兮顧懷。
羌聲色兮娛人,   觀者憺兮忘歸。

緪瑟兮交鼓,    簫鍾兮瑤簴。
鳴箎兮吹竽, 思靈保兮賢姱。
翾飛兮翠曾,    展詩兮會舞。
應律兮合節,    靈之來兮蔽日。

青雲衣兮白霓裳, 舉長矢兮射天狼。
操余弧兮反淪降, 援北斗兮酌桂漿。
撰余轡兮高駝翔, 杳冥冥兮以東行。


Leaf J (6 columns in standard script)

I wander with you by the Nine Mouths of the river
When the storm wind rises and lashes up the waves.
I ride a water chariot with a canopy of lotus;
Two dragons draw it, between two water-serpents.

I climb the Kun-lun mountain and look over the four quarters,
And my heart leaps up in me, beating wildly.
Though the day will soon end, I forget to go in my pleasure:
Longingly I look back to that distant shore.
Of fish-scales his palace is, with a dragon-scale hall;
Purple cowrie gate-towers; rooms of pearl.
And what does the god do, down there in the water?

Riding a white turtle, he chases the spotted fishes.
Let me play with you among the river’s islets,
While the swollen waters come rushing on their way!

Eastward you journey, with hands stately folded,
Bearing your fair bride to the southern harbour.
The waves come racing up to meet me,
And shoals of fishes are my bridal train.

To the right is ‘The River Earl’

與女遊兮九河,   衝風起兮橫波。
乘水車兮荷蓋,   駕兩龍兮驂螭。
登崑崙兮四望,  心飛揚兮浩蕩。
日將暮兮悵忘歸, 惟極浦兮寤懷。

魚鱗鱗屋兮龍堂,  紫貝闕兮朱宮。
靈何為兮水中。 乘白黿兮逐文魚。  
與女遊兮河之渚, 流澌紛兮將來下。

子交手兮東行,   送美人兮南浦。
波滔滔兮來迎,   魚鄰鄰兮媵予。


Leaf K (9 columns in standard script)

There seems to be someone in the fold of the mountain
In a coat of fig-leaves with a rabbit-floss girdle,
With eyes that hold laughter and a smile of pearly brightness:
‘Lady, your allurements show that you desire me.’

Driving tawny leopards, leading the striped lynxes;
A car of lily-magnolia with banner of woven cassia;
Her cloak of stone-orchids, her belt of asarum:
She gathers sweet scents to give to one she loves.
‘I am in the dense bamboo grove, which never sees the sunlight,
So steep and hard the way was, therefore I am late.’
Solitary she stands, upon the mountain’s summit:
The clouds’ dense masses begin below her.

From a place of gloomy shadow, dark even in the daytime,
When the east wind blows up, the goddess sends down her showers.
Dallying with the Fair One, I forget about returning.
What flowers can I deck myself with, so late in the year?

I shall pluck the thrice-flowering herb among the mountains,
Where the arrowroot spreads creeping over the piled-up boulders.
Sorrowing for my lady, I forget that I must go.
My lady thinks of me, but she has no time to come.

The lady of the mountains is fragrant with pollia;
She drinks from the rocky spring and shelters beneath the pine trees.
My lady thinks of me, but she holds back, uncertain.

The thunder rumbles; rain darkens the sky:
The monkeys chatter; apes scream in the night:
The wind soughs sadly and the trees rustle.
I think of my lady and stand alone in sadness.

To the right is ‘The Mountain Spirit’

若有人兮山之阿,   被薜荔兮帶女蘿。
既含睇兮又宜咲,   子慕予兮善窈窕。
乘赤豹兮從文狸,   辛夷車兮結桂旗。
被石蘭兮帶杜衡,   折芳馨兮遺所思。
余處幽篁兮終不見天, 路險難兮獨後來。

表獨立兮山之上,   雲容容兮而在下。
杳冥冥兮羌晝晦,   東風飄兮神靈雨。
留靈修兮憺忘歸,   歲既晏兮孰華予。

采三秀兮於山間,   石磊磊兮葛蔓蔓。
怨公子兮悵忘歸,   君思我兮不得閒。
山中人兮芳杜若,   飲石泉兮蔭松柏。
靁填填兮雨冥冥,   猨啾啾兮又夜鳴。
風颯颯兮木蕭蕭,   思公子兮徒離憂。


Leaf L (7 columns in standard script)

Grasping our great shields and wearing our hide armour,
Wheel-hub to wheel-hub locked, we battle hand to hand.

Our banners darken the sky; the enemy teem like clouds:
Through the hail of arrows the warriors press forward.

They dash on our lines; they trample our ranks down.
They left horse has fallen, the right one is wounded.

The wheels are embedded, the foursome entangled:
Seize the jade drumstick and beat the sounding drum!
The time is against us: the gods are angry.
Now all lie dead, left on the field of battle.

They went out never more to return:
Far, far away they lie, on the level plain,
Their long swards at their belts, clasping their Qin bows,
Head from body sundered: but their hearts could not be vanquished.

Both truly brave and also truly noble;
Strong to the last, they could not be dishonoured.
Their bodies may have died, but their souls are living:
Heroes among the shades their valiant souls will be.

To the right is ‘Hymn to the Fallen’

操吳戈兮被犀甲,  車錯轂兮短兵接。
旌蔽日兮敵若雲,  矢交墜兮士爭先。
凌余陣兮躐余行,  左驂殪兮右刃傷。
霾兩輪兮縶四馬,  援玉枹兮擊鳴鼓。
天時懟兮威靈怒,  嚴殺盡兮棄原壄。

出不入兮往不反,  平原忽兮路超遠。
帶長劍兮挾秦弓,  首雖離兮心不懲。
誠既勇兮又以武,  終剛強兮不可凌。
身既死兮神以靈,  魂魄毅兮為鬼雄。



Artist's seals

Zhao shi Zi’ang 趙氏子昂 [Leaf B-L]

Label strip

Jin Heqin 堇寉琴 (Unidentified), 1 column in seal script and 2 columns in running-standard script, undated; 1 seal (mounted on brocade cover):

堇寉琴書贉,歇浦旅次。 [印] 寉琴長壽

Old title strips [on Leaf A]

1. Yi Nianceng 伊念曾 (1790–1861), 1 column in clerical script and 2 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

明蔣盤初題,玉山蕭氏珍藏,伊念曾書簽。 [印]:伊念曾印

2. Zhang Fu 張芾 (1814–1862), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 1 seal:


題趙松雪《書畫屈子九歌》。張芾 [印]:黼矦

3. Li Qiujun 李秋君 (1898–1973), 2 columns in running-standard script, dated 1939-1940; 1 seal:

大千兄屬,己卯十一月李秋君題。 [印]:秋君

4. Ye Gongchuo 葉恭綽 (1881–1968), 2 columns in running-standard script, undated; 1 seal:

大風堂所藏尤物之一,葉恭綽題。 [印]:葉


1. Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983), 2 columns in semi-cursive script, undated [Leaf D]:


2. Jiang Ruqi 蔣如奇 (d. 1643), 8 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1637; 2 seals [Leaf M]:

松雪楷蹟尚多,獨所見臨《東方讚》與此《九歌》筆畫精嚴,無一解思落凡夢,為後人習氣可霑,真希世寳也。兩過人玉齋頭,把對不能釋手,特記此。丁丑又四月荊溪蔣如奇 [印]:盤初氏、蔣如奇印

3. Cai Zhiding 蔡之定 (1745–1834), 1 column in semi-cursive script, undated; 1 seal [Leaf N]:

右趙文敏《九歌書畫》真跡,蔡之定觀。 [印]:生甫氏

4. Wu Rongguang 吳榮光 (1773–1843), 1 column in standard script, dated 1816; 2 seals [Leaf N]:

嘉慶丙子三月上澣南海吳榮光伯榮甫觀。 [印]:吳榮光印、吳氏伯榮

5. Lin Sijin 林思進 (1872–1953), 3 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1940; 1 seal [Leaf N]:

避寇寧風橋村舍,大千八兄遠來存問,攜此尤物,俾得寓目,亂世中不易得之事也。庚辰重陽後四日華陽林思進記。 [印]:林思進印

6. Xie Wuliang 謝無量 (1884–1964) and Luo Xicheng 羅希成 (20th c.), 1 column in semi-cursive script, dated 1940 [Leaf N]:


7. Zhang Muhan 張目寒 (1902–1980) and Xie Zhiliu 謝稚柳 (1910-1997), 1 column in semi-cursive script, dated 1940 [Leaf N]:


8. Ye Gongchuo 葉恭綽 (1880–1968), 1 column in standard script, dated 1940; 1 seal [Leaf N]:

民國二十九年元日番禺葉恭綽獲觀因題。 [印]:遐

9. Wang Yuan 王薳 (1884–1944), 9 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1939; 1 seal [Leaf N]:

己卯冬日,大千道兄過海上寓齋,以所得趙文敏《九歌書畫冊》見眎,不勝讚嘆。考元大德為文敏五十二嵗,計其卒時在至治二年,壽止六十有九,則此冊乃其中年精力彌滿之作,運筆純師龍眠,而探得其頷珠者。跋尾蔣如奇,字一先,号盤初,為明萬曆進士,官至西湖大參,且善書,董香光稱其天骨超逸,功力復深,鎸有晉、唐人帖行世。丁丑為崇禎十年,荊溪即今宜興云。王薳 [印]:王薳

10. Ye Gongchuo 葉恭綽 (1880–1968), 20 columns in standard script, dated 1940; 1 seal [Leaf O]:

昔人謂畫神仙鬼怪易,畫人物難,以人物須寫真,而神仙鬼怪可以想像模擬也。其實神仙鬼怪亦各有其精神意度,非可以凴空臆造。蓋神仙鬼怪在繪畫時,仍須具其人格,且為執筆者思想意識之表現。故昔人品第畫手,恆以仙釋等別為一類,非凡能貌人物者,皆工于神仙鬼怪也。昔唐二畫師分繪西岳寺壁,其繪東壁者睹西壁之半,遂罷棄弗為,其言曰:“吾之百官,其氣象僅及彼之騶從吏卒;吾之嶽神,其氣象僅及彼之百官,彼之嶽神,其氣象乃吾意中所無也。”足徵此類畫之高下,全在精神意度之不同。鷗波此冊淳厚清逸,具有唐型,脫盡院畫窠臼,其卓絕処,尤在氣象之莊嚴端麗,具天人相,繪鬼神至此,其氣脈悉與人物相通,非石恪、龔開輩之力求詭異、離于言象者比也。吾囯圖畫導源于繪記故事,故最早即有人物畫,漢以前授受師承無可攷,其見于紀載者,漢、魏、六朝之作,今亦罕見,傳世名作當以閻立本《帝王圖》稱最。顧愷之《女史箴》實非真跡。今試以閻作上溯六朝,以迄漢、魏,其間技術之嬗變,粲然可指,其用筆、設色獨到之處,尤足代表東方文化與藝術。自時厥后,由唐迄清,作家代不乏人,但能出閻、吳門戶者極稀,僅梁楷、石恪、龔開之屬,自成一格。明之唐、仇已成后勁。陳章侯知其故,乃遠追漢、魏、六朝石刻,力求古拙,特闢徑塗,同時曾波臣,濡染歐風,亦別出手眼,可稱二難。然三百年來,能繼軌陳、曾者,寥 寥三數,名家僅拾元、明餘唾,號傳龍眠、鷗波統緒而已。降至曉樓、小某之倫,實鄰自檜。故人物畫之在今日,已達窮變通久之期,第無人克肩此任。大千收藏既富,功力尤深,近方肆力于人物,不知睹此而深有觸發否?意開徑獨行,當非異人任也。用為贅言如此。中華民國二十九年一月,大千擕此冊過香港出示,因題。番禺葉恭綽 [印]:融齋

11. Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983), 13 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1958; 1 seal [Leaf P]:

有明蔣盤初以書名,於其鑑賞亦為董思翁所甚推,稱所見松雪楷跡以《九歌》、《畫贊》二者為最。予既得《九歌書畫冊》,其後十五年,門人馮璧池乃以《畫贊》見貽。予生盤初三百年後,廼擁有此[其字 點去]雙璧,其欣幸為何如耶!馮若飛嘗贈予楹帖曰:“貧無立錐,富可敵國。”一時以爲嘉話,予亦以自侈矣。頃者予就醫東京,行篋中有銘心之品數事,朋輩爭相乞請以《九歌》冊子付印,用嚮愛好趙書者,因并影《畫贊》附之。書家以臨撫見功力,以自運見性情,學趙書者觀此一卷一冊,可以上溯源流,永為楷則矣。至其畫筆高妙,上追吳生,平揖伯時,奴視後來,則又不待予之贅述也。丁酉嵗除夕,大千居士時方病目,書不成字。 [印]:張大千長年大吉又曰利

Collectors' seals

Wu Rongguang 吳榮光 (1773–1843)
伯榮審定 [Leaf L, M]
吳榮光印 [Leaf M]

Zhang Shanzi 張善子 (1882–1940)
善子審定 [Leaf H]
善子心賞 [Leaf K]
張氏季子 [Leaf E]

Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983)
大千供養 [Leaf B]
大千好夢[Leaf B]
遲秋簃 [Leaf B]
大風堂長物 [Leaf B, D, F]
不負古人告後人 [Leaf C]
別時容易 [Leaf E, F]
南北東西只有相隨無別離 [Leaf E, L]
藏之大千 [Leaf H]
張爰之印 [Leaf I]
大千 [Leaf I]
大風堂 [square, relief, Leaf J]
大風堂 [rectangle, intaglio, Leaf K]
藏之大千 [Leaf K]
大千之寳 [Leaf L]
張爰 [Leaf M]
大千居士 [Leaf M]
大風堂珍玩 [Leaf M]
蜀人 [Leaf M]
大千游目 [Leaf M]
至寶是寳 [Leaf O]

Yang Wanjun 楊宛君 (1917–1986)
宛君侍讀 [Leaf F, L]
楊妹子 [Leaf F]

素君 [Leaf E]
黃黃竹印 [Leaf E]

Illegible: 2 [on Leaf N, P]

[1] Translations of “The Fisherman” on Leaf B and The Nine Songs on Leaf C-L from David Hawkes, trans. and annotated, The Songs of the South: An Ancient Chinese Anthology of Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets (Penguin Books, 1985), pp. 206-207, 95-122.
[ C. C. Wang Family , New York, until 1973; sold to MMA]
Cleveland Museum of Art. "Chinese Art Under the Mongols," October 1, 1968–November 4, 1968.

New York. Asia House Gallery. "Chinese Art Under the Mongols," January 9, 1969–February 2, 1969.

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 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. "Secular and Sacred: Scholars, Deities, and Immortals in Chinese Art," September 10, 2005–January 8, 2006.