Autumn River in the Rain and Clouds

View right to left

Artist: Formerly attributed to Xu Daoning (ca. 1000-after 1066)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 16th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 59 x 365.3 cm (23 1/4 x 143 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


boat, China, fishing, landscape, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), pavilion, river, wood-gathering

To 1911
Li Wenqing (circa 1869-1931), Shanghai to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Li Wenqing in 1911 [2]

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


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 783, 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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Li Wenqing (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1869-1931


Thick mist and clouds obscure the high, upper slopes of the mountains, providing a wet, autumnal mood for this imaginary riverscape with its mixture of isolated peasant and scholar-recluse inhabitants. At right, a common fisherman huddles in his little boat among the reeds. On the far shore, a path leads from a hamlet of simple, well-built houses to a stone bridge over a stream. Where the stream emerges from a distant valley, a wood gatherer approaches on the narrow trail carrying two bundles of sticks on his shoulder pole. Another hiker materializes among the trees at the top of a lower pass. From his riverside pavilion, a lone scholar gazes over the water; across from him, a narrow waterfall plunges down a series of cascades and crashes onto the rocks below. On a small, flat island beneath the looming crags, a recluse-fisherman has left his fishing rod propped on a forked stick as he rows his boat across the water to meet a friend waiting on the opposite shore. While season and natural backdrop set a particular mood and context, this meeting of friends provides the painting with a focus of human interaction that directly engages the viewer's imagination.

Published References
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: pp. 210-211.
  • Fu Shen. Yuan dai huang shi shu hua shou cang shi lue. Gu gong cong kan Taipei. p. 240.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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