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The Xuehong Pavilion in a Scholar's Garden

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

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  • A work made of handscroll; ink and colors on gold-spattered paper.


Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 1831


Qian Du (1763-1844 )

About this artwork

The name of this garden alludes to a poem by Su Shi (1036–1101), a prominent scholar-official who was censored for his political activism and renowned for his brilliant poetry and prose. In one of his most poignant poems, he compared the fleeting traces of human events to the footprints of geese (hong) left on snow (xue).

The windows of the foreground building offer glimpses of the owner’s library and art collection: bronze and ceramic vessels, one painting rolled and stored upright, a desk for painting and calligraphy, and a tall, narrow stand for burning incense. An attendant prepares tea for gentlemen engaged in conversation in the pavilion, while women stroll in the adjacent bamboo garden. Large, eroded rocks are dramatically shaded to highlight their fantastic quality.

Qian’s reserved, quietly spontaneous brushwork—bland, single-stroke architecture and ink-dots that echo the contours of hills, rocks, and trees—is inspired by the style of late 16th-century literati masters, with whom the affluent and well-traveled Qian Du was undoubtedly familiar.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Qian Shumei


The Xuehong Pavilion in a Scholar's Garden


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 and colors on gold-spattered paper


20.1 × 82.3 cm (7 7/8 × 32 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Orientals Sundry Fund

Reference Number


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