Garden for Solitary Enjoyment



Qiu Ying 仇英

(Chinese, 1494–1552)
Painting: 28 x 518.5 cm (11 x 204 1/8 in.); Overall: 32 x 1290.2 cm (12 5/8 x 507 15/16 in.)
Location: On view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA, Sep 14, 2024 - Jan 6, 2025
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Did You Know?

Sima Guang completed his monumental survey of Chinese history, Zizhi tongjian, in the garden depicted in this painting.


Garden of Solitary Enjoyment refers to a site built in 1073 by the statesman Sima Guang (1019–1086) after he had retired to Luoyang, Henan province. Every spring, visitors would flock to his garden. Each of its seven structures references a historic figure. Sima wrote: I channel streams [like Du Mu], to water flowers [like Bai Juyi], or trim bamboo [like Wang Huizhi]. . . . I know of no joy between heaven and earth that could take its place.

Qiu Ying’s painting, created after an 11th-century version of the same theme, must have appealed to garden owners of the Ming dynasty, since it became the template for numerous Suzhou workshop copies
Garden for Solitary Enjoyment

Garden for Solitary Enjoyment


Qiu Ying

(Chinese, 1494–1552)
China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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