Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Unidentified Artist
Formerly Attributed to Emperor Huizong (Chinese, 1082–1135; r. 1100–25)
Ming (1368–1644) or Qing (1644–1911) dynasty
Handscroll; ink and color on silk
12 3/8 x 42 3/4 in. (31.4 x 108.6 cm)
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: At the end of the painting on the same silk is given the following writing:
A picture representing the Emperor Xuan Zong (sixth Emperor of the Tang period) giving instructions to the Prince, his heir, was painted very beautifully by a painter of the Tang period. The poetic, as well as artistic ideas and motives were very well expressed in this painting. On the upper right hand of the picture is a square seal which reads as follows: "Imperial Household Library". At the end of the picture is a square seal composed of four characters, two of which read as follows: "Palace Treasure". The other two characters are hard to read. On a paper which is mounted next to the picture is the following writing: "The Emperor Xuan Ho (Hui Zong) copied the picture representing the Prince, his heir. The scheme of color is delicate and the portraits are very elegant; the touch of the brush is very fine.
The august figure sitting on a stand in the middle of the picture looks sublime and calm, and his eyes directed toward his son are full of life. The complexion of the boy is bright and he looks very clever. The general stands very respectfully, with his hands folded, and looks as if he is just ready for a call to crush the enemy if anything happened to the Emperor. The other attendants are also very well painted and represent their respective personages. "Really this picture can be compared with any masterpiece of former times. The writing at the end of the picture was written by the Emperor Hui Zong, and its calligraphic beauty is also very rare. I, Zhao Mengfu put this down in August, 4th year of Yuanzheng [1298]."

Note: Translator says that the period of Yuanzheng ended at the second year, therefore, there was no fourth year.
Next to the above writing is given the following record in smaller characters, by a man called Boyen: "The original of the above colophon was in deplorably bad condition, therefore, I copied it myself when the picture was remounted, to add it at the end of the picture. In the colophon, Songxue (Zhao Mengfu) gave his judgment of the picture as genuine".
[ John C. Ferguson , until 1913; sold to MMA]
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