Dream Journey to Mt. Tiantai

Dream Journey to Mt. Tiantai

夢遊天台圖

1814

Qian Du 錢杜

(Chinese, 1763-1844)

Handscroll, ink on paper

Overall: 29.8 x 72 cm (11 3/4 x 28 3/8 in.)

Gift of Jean-Pierre Dubosc 1975.75

Location

Did you know?

The man and woman in the pavilion likely represent Chen Wenshu and the mysterious presence he encountered on his dream journey to Mt. Tiantai.

Description

When he painted Mt. Tiantai 天台山, Qian Du was a mature artist with a distinctive style that balanced refinement and “studied awkwardness.” He included the site’s famed features: the crescent-shaped stone bridge arching across the waterfall and surrounded by dense cliffs. Rows of pine and other vegetation appear in the crevices above and below the mountain. The twisting trunks and branches are left in outline, encased within the variegated foliage. In a pavilion at the center, a man and a woman look back to the lower right, across the ravine and toward the cascading water. Beyond and to the left, two simple mounds are backed by hills that stretch into the distance.

Qian Du left space above the hills for an inscription describing the circumstances that gave rise to the painting. Chen Wenshu, family friend and patron to Qian Du, had dreamt of a journey to Tiantai, a mountain famed for both its natural beauty and its associations with legends and myths. This short handscroll was based on Chen’s description of his dream journey, on which he marveled at the scenery and encountered a goddess. Six months after the painting’s completion, Qian transcribed his friend’s longer poetic reminiscence on paper mounted after the painting.

The landscape of the painting was not based on the physical site, which likely neither man had visited in 1814, but rather on the mythic tradition of Tiantai. It caused turbulence in the mind of the poet and provided inspiration to the painter.

See also
Collection: 
ASIAN - Handscroll
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Painting

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

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

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.