foreground scene at bottom with two men on horseback, with bows drawn, aiming at a pair of deer in LLC, with two fox-like animals in front of deer; other men on horseback--some with bows and arrows, rifles and spears--along winding path behind foremost two figures; white dog accompanying hunters on path above deer; procession of men with donkeys at left center; small group of men carrying boxes on poles led by a pointing man on horseback at right below center; procession of women--some with musical instruments--on horses, accompanied by several men with flags and bows and arrows, at right center; pair of flying cranes and another bird above trees at top right above procession of women; winding path through mountain landscape; some scattered trees; black lacquer frame with stepped feet

An Incident on the Hunt, late 17th-early 18th century

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2016 Accession Highlight

While the museum’s Chinese collection is world-class in many areas (furniture, ceramics, jades, bronzes, literati objects, textiles), the painting collection is less representative. This monumental landscape, rendered in pure ink, shows a lively narrative. A high-ranking figure on horseback, possibly the emperor, is shown receiving a message from a kneeling figure. Nearby, a bevy of elegant court women look on, while a group of scholars—separated by a rocky outcropping—engage in lofty conversation. The painting seems to suggest that leaders must strike a balance between seeking the advice of scholars (shown in a gathering in the upper left) in order to effectively rule, and engaging in various entertainments, like picnicking with women and hunting for sport (shown in the lower part of the painting).

foreground scene at bottom with two men on horseback, with bows drawn, aiming at a pair of deer in LLC, with two fox-like animals in front of deer; other men on horseback--some with bows and arrows, rifles and spears--along winding path behind foremost two figures; white dog accompanying hunters on path above deer; procession of men with donkeys at left center; small group of men carrying boxes on poles led by a pointing man on horseback at right below center; procession of women--some with musical instruments--on horses, accompanied by several men with flags and bows and arrows, at right center; pair of flying cranes and another bird above trees at top right above procession of women; winding path through mountain landscape; some scattered trees; black lacquer frame with stepped feet