To escape the turbulence of the closing years of the Yuan dynasty, Lu Guang traveled far from his native city of Suzhou. He painted Spring Dawn after his return to the Lake Tai area, following the establishment of the Ming dynasty in 1368. The reference to the Elixir Terrace in the title of the painting indicates the artist's interest in both Daoist alchemy and the pursuit of immortality; the poem, which describes "elixir rays emitted from a well turning into [auspicious] clouds at dawn," expresses Lu's optimism in the new era. In the city of Wuxing in 1369, Lu Guang saw and inscribed an important painting attributed to Yan Wengui (act. ca. 980-1010). Although Spring Dawn, which was painted about the same time, shows the influence of Yan Wengui's monumental composition, Lu Guang's brushwork is utterly different from the Northern Song descriptive style. The loosely directed kinesthetic brush-strokes, building layer after layer upon themselves, evoke landscape forms as might a tone poem.
#7419. Spring Dawn Over the Elixir Terrace, Part 1
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元 陸廣 丹臺春曉圖 軸
Title:Spring Dawn Over the Elixir Terrace
Artist:Lu Guang (Chinese, ca. 1300–after 1371)
Period:early Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Medium:Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:Image: 24 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (61.6 x 26 cm) Overall with mounting: 87 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (222.3 x 44.8 cm) Overall with knobs: 87 1/2 x 20 5/8 in. (222.3 x 52.4 cm)
Credit Line:Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1982
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (8 columns in standard script)
Spring Dawn over the Elixir Terrace Painted for Boyong by Tianyou [Lu Guang]. For ten years I wandered, homeless and away from worldly entanglements; Now, returning home by the river, I see things differently from most others. Jade like vapor floating in the sky, it is spring but no rain; Elixir rays emitted from a well turn into clouds at dawn. Standing in the wind I lean on my dragon staff; I have long missed hearing your mouth-organ music by moonlight. I am happy to be with the venerable immortal, and away from the military strategists; We sit looking at paintings and talk about literature.
Cheng Shaojun 程紹寯 (active first half of 19th c.) Gu She Cheng Shaojun tushu 古歙程紹寯圖書
Wang Jiqian 王季遷 (C. C. Wang, 1907–2003) Jiqian zhencang 季遷珍藏
Unidentified Xiguo Caotang 西郭草堂 Qin shu wanlle 琴書玩樂 Wei xian shu yin 味閒書印 Chen shi zhencang 陳氏珍藏
 Translation from Maxwell K. Hearn and Wen Fong. “Silent Poetry: Chinese Paintings in the Douglas Dillon Galleries,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. vol. 39, no. 3 (Winter 1981/82), p. 39.
[ Ellen B. Elliott , Princeton, NJ, 1981; 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.
Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," April 17, 1986–June 1, 1986.
Kobe City Museum. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," June 7, 1986–July 13, 1986.
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Sacred Mountains in Chinese Art," November 9–December 16, 1990.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sacred Mountains in Chinese Art," January 25–March 31, 1991.
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.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Taoism and the Arts of China," November 4, 2000–January 7, 2001.
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. "Taoism and the Arts of China," February 21, 2001–May 13, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.
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. "Chinese Painting, Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," August 28, 2004–February 20, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bridging East and West: The Chinese Diaspora and Lin Yutang," September 15, 2007–February 10, 2008.
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "La Voie du Tao, un autre chemin de l'être," March 29, 2010–June 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Yuan Revolution: Art and Dynastic Change," August 21, 2010–January 9, 2011.
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. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from The Met Collection (Rotation One)," October 31, 2015–October 11, 2016.
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, p. 126, cat. no. A17-005.
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. 147–49, fig. 68.
Fong, Wen C. Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 8th–14th Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, p. 474, pl. 114.
Bian Yongyu 卞永譽. Shigu Tang shuhua huikao 式古堂書畫彙考 (Studies of calligraphy and painting from the Shigu Tang Studio). Preface dated 1682, juan 18 of painting section. Reprinted in Zhongguo shuhua quanshu 中國書畫全書 (Compendium of classical publications on Chi ptg. & calligr.) Edited by Lu Fusheng 盧輔聖. Shanghai: Shanghai shuhua chubanshe, 1993–2000, vol. 7, pp. 94–95.
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