Gong Xian, considered the greatest of the seventeenth-century Nanjing painters, built up his high-contrast images through repetitive layering of ink. Here, he evokes a wintry scene in a mountain village. The accompanying poem celebrates the simple joys of country life:
Farmers, cowherds, fishermen, and woodcutters— where do they make their homes? In huts thatched with yellow reeds among mountains and streams. Work completed, they return together and get drunk, jugs and cups filled with wine; there is no need for credit. —Trans. adapted from Aschwin Lippe
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清 龔賢 冬景山水圖 軸
Artist:Gong Xian (Chinese, 1619–1689)
Period:Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium:Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:Image: 65 1/4 × 19 1/4 in. (165.7 × 48.9 cm) Overall with mounting: 9 ft. 6 1/4 in. × 26 1/2 in. (290.2 × 67.3 cm) Overall with knobs: 9 ft. 6 1/4 in. × 30 1/4 in. (290.2 × 76.8 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (4 columns in semi-cursive script)
Wang Shiyuan 汪士元 (active 1873–1935) , 1 columns in semi-cursive script, undated:
John M. Crawford Jr. American, New York (until d. 1988; bequeathed to MMA)
London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Collection of John M. Crawford, Jr.," June 17, 1965–August 1, 1965.
Kansas City. William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts. "Kung Hsien, Theorist and Technician in Painting: A Loan Exhibition," May 1, 1969–July 15, 1969.
Providence. Bell Gallery, List Art Center. "The Individualists: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the 17th Century from the Collection of John M. Crawford, Jr.," April 26, 1980–May 18, 1980.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "When the Manchus Ruled China: Painting under the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)," February 2–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. "Secular and Sacred: Scholars, Deities, and Immortals in Chinese Art," September 10, 2005–January 8, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of the Chinese Album," September 6, 2014–March 29, 2015.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China," August 26, 2017–January 6, 2019.
Weng, Wan-go, and Thomas Lawton. Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: A Pictorial Survey: 69 Fine Examples from the John Crawford, Jr. Collection. New York: Dover Publications, 1978, cat. no. 53.
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. 96, cat. no. A15-010.
Shih Shou-ch'ien, Maxwell K. Hearn, and Alfreda Murck. The John M. Crawford, Jr., Collection of Chinese Calligraphy and Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Checklist. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984, p. 41, cat. no. 140.
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