Ink on silkexpand_more
The Ruth Ann Dayton Chinese Room Endowment Fundexpand_more 2016.32
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).