Wangchuan Villa

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Artist: Traditionally attributed to Guo Zhongshu (傳)郭忠恕 (910-977)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, late 14th-mid 17th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (overall): 29 x 491 cm (11 7/16 x 193 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


China, garden, landscape, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Wang Wei, Wangchuan Villa

To 1909
Ho, Beijing, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ho in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 693, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. This object exhibits seals, colophons, or inscriptions that could provide additional information regarding the object’s history; see Curatorial Remarks in the object record for further details.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ho (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The Wang-ch'uan Villa is famous as the estate of the T'ang poet and painter Wang Wei (699-759), who composed a series of poems describing scenic spots within the estate and illustrated them in a handscroll painting. His original composition was preserved in Kuo Chung-shu's copy, which in turn was engraved in stone and rubbings made from it were widely available. Because of Wang Wei's image as the archetypical scholar-artist and fountainhead of the so-called Southern school of painting, literati painters often imitated his style and compositions. The Wang-Ch'uan Villa was important from the thematic point of view as well, giving rise to a genre of paintings of garden estates.

This version of the Wang-Ch'uan Villa is signed at the end with the name of Kuo Chung-shu and in fact is extremely similar to extant rubbings of Kuo's copy. Individual sites around the estate are identified in oblong cartouches and follow exactly the same order as the rubbing. The surfaces of the rocks and mountains are only slightly articulated with dilute contour strokes, unlike many copies in which texturing strokes form a rich surface pattern. The relative plainness of the surface lends an archaic feeling to this scroll.

Published References
  • Kohara Hironobu, Fu Shen. To kocho no shoga. 2 vols., Tokyo. vol. 1: figs. 1-2.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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