ink sketches of trees, rocks and buildings; several blocks of text on paper follow sketches; separate gold-flecked sheet with Chinese text rolled into scroll

Studies of Traditional Trees and Rocks, c. 1610

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Ink on silkexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2005.9.3

This rare handscroll, depicting various types of traditional trees and rocks, was painted by the great artist Dong Qichang (1555–1636). The work was intended for studio use as a type of sourcebook for Dong’s personal style of depicting trees and rocks, which he blended from the styles of previous masters. Sketchbooks, scrolls such as this, and printed manuals were commonly used as reference materials and teaching devices in Chinese painting workshops. This particular scroll was once in the possession of the literati artist Chen Jiru (1558–1639), a close friend and follower of Dong Qichang. Chen’s inscription reads:

This is Xuan Zai’s (Dong Qichang’s) sketch of trees and rocks by various old masters. Whenever he made a large composition, he copied from these sketches. After his house was burned down, I chanced to acquire this scroll from a professional mounter. It must not be shown to Dong lest it provoke his anxiety.
Remarks by Meigong (Chen Jiru).

Details
Title
Studies of Traditional Trees and Rocks
Artist Life
1555 - 1636
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2005.9.3
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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ink sketches of trees, rocks and buildings; several blocks of text on paper follow sketches; separate gold-flecked sheet with Chinese text rolled into scroll