River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day, c. 1624-1627
handscroll, ink on Korean paper, Overall: 38.40 x 136.80 cm (15 1/16 x 53 13/16 inches); Box: 7.00 x 7.60 cm (2 3/4 x 2 15/16 inches). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1959.46
Artist's inscription and signature at left: Huang Tzu-chiu's [Huang Kung-wang's] River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day is like this. It is indeed regrettable that the old Masters cannot see mine. Ssu-weng.
4 colophons, 2 additional inscriptions, and 35 seals: 2 colophons and 10 seals of Kao Shih-ch'i (1645-1704); 1 colophon and 4 seals of Sung Lo (1634-1713); 1 colophon and 2 seals of Shao Ch'ang-heng (1637-1704); 2 inscriptions and 14 seals of the Ch'ien-lung emperor (r. 1736-95); 1 seal of the Chia-ch'ing emperor (r. 1796-1820); 3 seals of the Hsüan-t'ung emperor (r. 1909-11); 1 seal unidentified.
First inscription by Kao Shih-ch'i:
Whenever Tung Wen-min [Tung Ch'i-ch'ang] came across any Korean paper with its mirror-smooth surface, his calligraphy and painting would become particularly inspired. This handscroll was originally a paper used for memorializing the emperor [Wan-li, r. 1572-1620]. The traces of characters are still visible, as is the seal of the Korean [king]. His brushstrokes are rounded and elegant, developed directly out of Ni [Tsan] and Huang [Kung-wang]. How could Shen [Chou] and Wen [Cheng-ming] be compared with him?
On the day after the mid-autumn festival [the sixteenth day of the eighth lunar month], in the keng-wu year of the K'ang-hsi era , the weather is clear. The remounting has just been finished. I inscribe the colophon at P'ing-lu.
Second inscription by Kao Shih-ch'i:
On the twenty-third day of the ninth month, the chia-hsü year of the K'ang-hsi era , I packed my bags to head north. When my boat passed Wu-ch'ang [Suchou], Mr. Man-t'ang [Sung Lo] brought wine to bid me farewell so that we could share our thoughts on our separation in the last few years. I showed him the paintings and calligraphy which I collected and asked his opinions. Since Mr. Man-t'ang does not own any handscrolls by Wen-min [Tung Ch'i-ch'ang], I leave this one for him in commemoration of our parting; thus the painting will have a worthy owner and our meeting will become a beautiful story in the future. It is the fourth day after the beginning of winter, with the sky clear and sober. Trees under frost have turned red and yellow, seemingly echoing the brush and ink in the painting. I also ask Mr. Man-t'ang to inscribe a poem to commemorate our meeting so that it will survive forever.
Colophon by Sung Lo:
Who is the foremost art connoisseur of our dynasty?
T'ang-ts'un [Liang Ch'ing piao, 1620-1691] is dead, so the title passes to Chiang-ts'un [Kao Shih-ch'i].
Leaving office, you retired for five years in the Lake region.
Fondling handscrolls and hanging scrolls from morning to evening.
You sent me your collection catalogue Hsiao-hsia lu last year;
It is indeed the true equal of [Chou Mi's] Yün-yan kuo-yen.
This year you returned to the capital by imperial order;
Your boat with calligraphy and paintings anchored at the river bank in Suchou.
When we met each other you did not waste any time for conversation by poured out immediately
From your "coral net" extraordinary treasures.
You produced incomparable scrolls, with gold-inscribed labels and jade rollers,
Pouring out from bags and trunks, they were spread in disarray.
Without a word, I rolled and unrolled until my fingers were numbed,
We sat straight, facing each other quietly, and never felt tired.
For three days we forgot about sleeping and food.
And at times we shouted our joy out loud, forgetting who is host or guest.
Your Dwelling in the Fu-ch'un Mountains and the Yüan-sheng manuscript
These peerless works I myself examined with delight.
As an added pleasure to the farewell dinner under the Maple Bridge,
You allowed me to hold again this handscroll by Tung Ch'i-chang--
The Misty River and Piled Peaks [by Chao Meng-fu] and this Clear Autumn Day are two extraordinary masterpieces.
In showing such life and spirit with "ch'i-yün." the artists were truly "men of heaven."
The Clear Autumn Day is not
Haus der Kunst, Munich, 1959: 1000 Jahre, cat. no. 64.
Library materials about Dong Qichang (26)
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1960: Chinese Paintings, no catalogue.
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass., 1964: Fifteen Chinese Paintings from The Cleveland Museum of Art, no catalogue.
Asia House Gallery, New York, 1967: Cahill, Fantastics and Eccentrics, cat. no. 2.
Asia House Gallery, New York, 1974: Lee, Colors of Ink, cat. no. 32.
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1979: The Compelling Image: Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting, no catalogue.
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1981: Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, cat. no. 191, p. 244-246.
NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (9/3/99 - 1/9/00) "The Artist as Collector: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the C. C. Wang Family Collection."
Metropolitan Musuem of Art, NY (9/9/2008 - 1/4/2009): "Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717)" fig. 5, p. 7.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (11/14/2015- 04/24/2016): "Silent Poetry: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting"