(Chinese, active 1621–1662)
Handscroll, ink on paper
Image: 31 x 81.5 cm (12 3/16 x 32 1/16 in.); Overall: 34.2 x 1164 cm (13 7/16 x 458 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2008.108
Gong Weiliu, the owner of the estate portrayed here, had received his prestigious jinshi degree in 1643, but his official career was thwarted by the collapse of the Ming dynasty the following year.
With its striking simplicity, this painting captures the pure serenity of a private garden in the moist atmosphere of a spring morning on a small river. Painted in the style of Ni Zan, Wang Jianzhang dedicated this work to his patron-friend Gong Weiliu (1611-1680). Gong retired from government service after the fall of the Ming dynasty and constructed a garden-retreat at his native home in Taizhou, Jiangsu province. He invited scholars and poets from his literary society to contribute writings of his estate, which are here mounted together with the painting in this scroll.
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