walled garden at L with buildings and trees; bridge-like wall at R; 3 small boats with figures on water at R

Suchou Temple Garden, c. 1549


Ink and color on paperexpand_more

Gift of Joan Wurteleexpand_more  99.172.2

Not on Viewexpand_more

The style of this painting featuring precise, delicate, unassuming brushwork and subtle tints of warm and cool colors is characteristic of literati painting in Suzhou as it was practiced by Wu school artists during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. This painting was done as a gift for one of the leading masters of that school, Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) on the occasion of his eightieth birthday in 1549. The work is by Yuan Qiu, a member of a prominent Suzhou literati family, and himself a student and friend of Wen Zhengming.

The occasion of the painting which depicts a tranquil temple garden near the Changmen city gate in Suchou is related in the lengthy inscription which reads in part:

. . .Lacking clamor, this is naturally a place for roosting birds,
still it can accommodate an honored guest, roaming the glorious grove:
With wine cup in hand, the jug concealed, peruse the carried books.
The cart is gone, farewells said and Gold Horses (officials) waved away.
I offer the Taishi (Wen Zhengming) my wishes for great longevity,
reviewing his years of glory and great virtue;
I have no other way to praise his exalted years,
and so here inscribe my prayers for his long life.

Wishing Grand Scribe Hengshan (Wen Zhengming) great longevity,
his later student, Yuan Qiu.

Suchou Temple Garden
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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walled garden at L with buildings and trees; bridge-like wall at R; 3 small boats with figures on water at R