A Tartar Huntsman on His Horse

Artist: Formerly attributed to Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254-1322)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 15th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 124.5 x 88.2 cm (49 x 34 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

China, horse, hunting, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)

Ch'en Ta Whah Ling, Weihsien, Shantung [1]

To 1911
By Ray-sai, China, to 1911 [2]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from By Ray-sai, in China, in 1911 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] According to Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record, this object was formerly in the collection of Ch'en Ta Whah Ling of Weihsien, Shantung.
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 Original Panel List, L. 826, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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)

By Rai-sai (C.L. Freer source)
Chen Ta Whah Ling
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


While the huntsman's face and the horse are depicted in profile, the man's body is in three-quarter view. This presents a certain incoherence in the compositional relationship between the horse and its rider. Details of the hunter's headgear and costume, as well as the sword, bow, arrows, and quiver, are nevertheless finely depicted. A rabbit hung from the saddle indicates that the rider is returning from a hunting trip. The subtle ink brushwork employed for the landscape backdrop balances well with the colorful and eye-catching horse and rider.     

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.