The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 25, 2024

Squirrels on the Chestnut Tree

Squirrels on the Chestnut Tree

1300s
(Chinese, active 1300s)
Painting: 97 x 39.4 cm (38 3/16 x 15 1/2 in.); Overall with knobs: 181.6 x 58 cm (71 1/2 x 22 13/16 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Dr. Ju-hsi Chou argues that Yongtian and Songtian were different, but related (father-son, master-pupil, or brothers) painters of squirrels. Ge was apparently their family name. A Tokyo National Museum squirrel painting signed Songtian Shanren (松田山人) has a seal giving the artist's formal name as Ge Shuying (葛淑英).

Description

One squirrel perches on a branch nibbling a chestnut, while the other on ground is approaching a fallen chestnut. The painter used fine, short staccato strokes to simulate the animal’s soft fur, while the tree is depicted with broader wet strokes in a rougher manner.

Ge Shuying is known for his depictions of squirrels in a monochrome style characterized by crisp, decisive brushstrokes. He may have been a Chan (Zen) priest-painter, or perhaps a Daoist painter, active in the Hangzhou region of eastern China. From there his works spread to Japan, where squirrel paintings gained the attention of Japanese collectors.
  • ?–1979
    (S. Yabumoto Co., Ltd., Tokyo, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    1979–
    The Cleveland Museum of Art,Cleveland, OH
  • Matsudaira, Yorihira 松平賴平, Munetō Tayama 田山宗堯, and Yuijirō Kamei 龜井唯二郎. Shōbi shiryō 尚美資料. Tōkyō: Shōbikai, 1917. Reproduced: vol. II, unnumbered plate
    Lee, Sherman E. "The Year in Review for 1979." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 67, no. 3 (1980): 58–99. Reproduced: cat. no. 125, p. 83; Mentioned: p. 62 www.jstor.org
    Ho, Wai-kam, Sherman E. Lee, Laurence Sickman, and Marc F. Wilson. Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting: The Collections of the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, in cooperation with Indiana University Press, 1980. Reproduced: cat. no. 79, pp. 97–99
    Rogers, Howard. "Questioning Authority." Orientations, January/February 2005, vol. 36 Issue 1, pp. 56–63. Reproduced: p. 59
    Chou, Ju-hsi and Anita Chung. Silent poetry: Chinese paintings from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015. Reproduced: pp. 130–132
  • Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 119). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (March 12-July 16, 2003).
    Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 119). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (June 27-October 2, 2001).
    Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 119). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (January 21-April 27, 2000).
    Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (November 7, 1980-January 4, 1981); The Cleveland Museum of Art (February 11-March 29, 1981); Tokyo National Museum (October 4-November 17, 1982).
    Year in Review: 1979. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (February 13-March 9, 1980).
  • {{cite web|title=Squirrels on the Chestnut Tree|url=false|author=Ge Shuying|year=1300s|access-date=25 April 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1979.70