Album of eight paintings and eight calligraphies; ink, gold and color on gold-flecked paper
12 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (32.1 x 23.2 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wan-go H. C. Weng, 1989
Not on view
Miffed that his tutor ranked him below his cousin because of inferior calligraphy, Dong Qichang at the age of sixteen dedicated himself to a study of the great calligraphers of the past. By the end of the century, he had become the most influential calligrapher of his age. Although Dong championed the aesthetic of monochromatic ink styles, he indulged in decorative effects in this album, using gold flecked paper with occasional mineral colors for the paintings and choosing a satin ground for his sleek cursive script. Each of the eight leaves, except number seven, is an homage to a past master paired with excerpts from Tang-dynasty landscape poetry. Despite the broad range of styles Dong imitated, the landscapes are remarkably similar to one another and reflect Dong's own intellectual approach to painting most of all.
Signature: One signature and one seal of the artist on each leaf of painting; one signature and two seals of the artist on each leaf of calligraphy.
Marking: Collector's seals: Keting zhen can Zhai Jianyang Yin Unidentified, 1 seal Wan-go Weng
Mr.and Mrs. Wan-go H. C. Weng , New York (until 1989; donated to MMA)
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. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Brush: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy," March 12, 2005–August 14, 2005.