Three Horses and Four Grooms


c. 1320s

Ren Renfa 任仁發

(Chinese, 1254–1328)
Painting: 28.5 x 137.5 cm (11 1/4 x 54 1/8 in.); Overall: 29.2 x 556.4 cm (11 1/2 x 219 1/16 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Only the elegant first horse with a white blaze is accompanied by two grooms, as if its lightning speed required extra supervision.


Ren Renfa's horse images are elegant in appearance and vigorous in spirit. His work attracted not only Chinese scholars but also the Mongols at the imperial court. Inspired by the contemporary scholarly interest in restoring a sense of antiquity in art—an artistic direction led by Zhao Mengfu that exerted a great impact in the Yuan art scene—Ren Renfa, like Zhao Mengfu, modeled his depictions of horses after the Song master Li Gonglin. Another key style component that Ren introduced to this genre was a revival of the Tang classical tradition. The refined color treatment of the horses as seen here was derived from the Tang master Han Gan.
Three Horses and Four Grooms

Three Horses and Four Grooms

c. 1320s

Ren Renfa

(Chinese, 1254–1328)
China, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.