About this artwork
The eminent scholar-painter Wen Zhengming mastered disciplined but unassertive brushwork to create subtly powerful and often poignant compositions. Ascending a steep mountain path, a man with a walking staff is the solitary inhabitant of this landscape; desolate huts and clustered groves of thin trees are his only neighbors. Horizontal strokes accent the densely layered and partially shadowed mountain contours – an intriguing blend or representational form and surface texture.
A poetic colophon by Shao Bao (1460-1527) is inscribed after the painting:
In the Dao of painting, spring mountains are admired,
But one can sympathize even more with autumn mountains.
High winds overwhelm strong trees,
Heavy rains - one can really see the springs.
Tallow and plum trees are thin,
Maple groves and apricot [trees] fade and groan.
Yet when winter follows this,
The pine and cypress are just as before."
(translation by Stephen Little)
- Wen Zhengming
- Autumn Mountains 秋山圖
- Handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper
- Exterior Label (玉池) by Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉. Frontispiece (引首) by Xu Lin 徐霖 ：Autumn Mountains (秋山), Signature：䫇仙. Seals: 徐氏子仁，麓雲樓書畫記，蓉峰之印，劉氏寒碧莊印. Inscription on Painting: 秋山圖為子仰作, 徵明. Seals:文徵明印，停雲生. Collectors' Seals: 蓉峰鑑賞, □□鑑定, 吴邑刘恕审定, □□□□, 劉氏寒碧莊印，惕庵所得名蹟，蓉峰審定，廷俞珍藏，王遂菴曾觀, 向叔平生長物，何長庚鑑賞書畫之章
- 31.8 × 120.8 cm
- Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund