Image: 32 1/2 x 12 in. (82.6 x 30.5 cm)
Overall with mounting: 70 1/2 x 17 3/8 in. (179.1 x 44.1 cm)
Overall with knobs: 70 1/2 x 21 in. (179.1 x 53.3 cm)
The C. C. Wang Family Collection, Gift of C. C. Wang, 2001
Not on view
This painting is a copy of a work by the writer-artist Zhang Feng. The original, a birthday gift for a friend, was executed on the eve of the Double Ninth Festival—the ninth day of the ninth lunar month—when tradition called for ascending the heights and drinking chrysanthemum wine. Zhang's subject matter was undoubtedly inspired by the occasion, but it also pays tribute to the poet Tao Qian (365–427), who was renowned both for his rejection of an official position and for his love of chrysanthemums and wine. He depicts the chrysanthemum's most famous admirer enjoying the bouquet of a plant that has grown in the company of rocks and bamboo—symbols of a life in reclusion, which, on a different level, can be construed as congratulatory wishes for long life.
Zhang's two poems read:
In the light rain of this clear autumn, Today is your birthday. With the Double Ninth Festival just around the corner, I should first search out a chrysanthemum for you.
So much have I learned as I grow older, Now is the time to put myself on strong foundations. With a deep draught of wine, [I contemplate the paradises lying to] the west and south, Their powerful radiance is indestructible.
Signature: Signed by on the painting by the artist (upper half):
Fine rain in a clear autumn, Today it is your birthday. Double Ninth [the ninth day of the ninth lunar month] is near, You should start searching for chrysanthemum buds. Study the Way in your best years, The age of thirty is perfect. Drink from a deep cup, Steeped in [Buddhist] studies of the Western Realm and Southern Extreme, Who can rival your brillance?
[The poem] to the right follows the melody of Dianjiangchun ("Paint the Lips Crimson"). On the eighth day of the ninth month of the wuxu year [October 4, 1658], written by the monk of Bao'en Temple, Zhenxiang Fokong ("True fragrance of the Buddha's emptiness") [seal:] Zhang Feng zhi yin
Inscription: Label strip on exterior of scroll:
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 1 column in running script
Marking: Collectors' seals:
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 3 C. C. Wang (born 1907), 1
C. C. Wang , New York (until 2001; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Text and Image: The Interaction of Painting, Poetry, and Calligraphy," January 23, 1999–August 16, 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. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "When the Manchus Ruled China: Painting under the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)," February 2, 2002–August 18, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dreams of Yellow Mountain: Landscapes of Survival in Seventeenth-Century China," September 13, 2003–February 22, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art," February 27, 2010–November 28, 2010.