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Autumn Mountains 秋山圖

A work made of handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper.


Ming dynasty (1368–1644), early 16th century 明朝


Wen Zhengming 文徵明 (Chinese, 1470-1559)

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)


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Wen Zhengming


Autumn Mountains 秋山圖


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



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 (12 9/16 × 47 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund

Reference Number


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