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Autumn Mountains, for Jichang (Chi-ch'ang)

Tang Dai

Asian Art

Fans offer painters a more intimate, and sometimes less formal, format than that of scrolls. Many antique fan paintings were immediately mounted onto album pages, but some—like this one—have fold marks to indicate that they were used before being laid flat. The Manchuria-born artist Tang Dai received the title of “Number One Painter” from the Kangxi emperor. By the time he painted this fan, he was serving Kangxi’s successor as a veteran court artist. The poem at the top is dedicated to a friend who was leaving for a distant post. It extends the wish that when the friend opens the fan, he will feel that he is once again face to face with the artist.
MEDIUM Fan painting, ink and light color on iridescent paper
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 1739
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    PERIOD Qianlong Period
    DIMENSIONS Fan: 7 7/16 x 22 1/16 in. (18.9 x 56 cm) 10 1/16 x 19 7/8 in. (25.6 x 50.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by the Joseph Hotung Family in memory of Stanley J. Love
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The painting in light colors and ink on slightly iridescent, mica-coated paper shows an autumn landscape, identified as such with a middle-ground shore sloping down to a lake. A river runs out of a forested valley and enters the lake in front of four buildings of a gentleman's country villa. A group of large rocks to the left of the buildings screens a path leading to an arched stone bridge. On the near shore is another, detached building of the villa, seen through a cleft among the trees on the rocky shore. A large tree-covered mountain rises at the right- center of the composition, flanked by lower ranges and distant blue peaks. The group of pines to the right of the villa's buildings, which evoke the style of the Yuan dynasty painter Wang Meng (ca. 1309-1385), the rounded hillocks and dotted foliage in the style of the 10th century master Ju Ran, and other elements of the painting's style place it firmly within the Orthodox tradition of Tang Dai's teacher, Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715). The sense of light and dark in the painting is probably a reflection of Tang Dai's own interest in European painting, practiced at the Qing court by Jesuit missionaries. Condition: The painting has been removed from the fan armature and mounted in Chinese style in a heavy paper folder. The fold marks are clearly visible, with stains at each of the outward folds. There are minor red stains or foxing on the inside of the paper folder opposite the fan.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Tang Dai (Chinese, 1673–1754 or later). Autumn Mountains, for Jichang (Chi-ch'ang), 1739. Fan painting, ink and light color on iridescent paper, Fan: 7 7/16 x 22 1/16 in. (18.9 x 56 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Joseph Hotung Family in memory of Stanley J. Love, 1995.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.8_IMLS_PS3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1995.8_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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