Pavilion of the Prince of Teng

Artist: Attributed to Xia Yong 夏永 (active mid-14th century)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, mid-14th century
Ink on silk
H x W (image): 26.5 x 27.5 cm (10 7/16 x 10 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf

China, pavilion, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To 1915
Tonying and Company, New York to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Tonying and Company, New York in 1915 [2]

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


[1] See Original Album List, pg. 48, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. By at least 1917, Tonying and Company maintained business locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Paris, London, and New York, NY. 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
Tonying and Company (C.L. Freer source) established 1902


The Pavilion of the Prince of Teng was located on the city wall of Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, facing the Gan River. Originally constructed in 653 by Li Yuanying, who was a son of Emperor Gaozu (reigned 618-26), founder of the Tang dynasty (618-907), the pavilion underwent at least twenty-eight renovations before its final destruction in 1926, almost thirteen hundred years later. The main hall containing three stories was flanked by two smaller structures, one of which can be seen in the lower part of the painting.

A popular destination for visitors and tourists, the pavilion also served as a venue for private parties of various kinds, the best known of which occurred in October 675, when the promising young poet Wang Bo (ca. 650-ca. 676) attended a literary gathering at the site and composed a preface for the poems that were written on the occasion. This preface, which is inscribed on the painting in minute characters, is one of the most frequently anthologized compositions in Chinese literature.

Little is known about the fourteenth-century artist of this work, Xia Yong; however, he was said to have executed his works with a brush as fine as the eyelash of a mosquito and was a master of the jiehua (ruled-line) style of painting.

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Published References
  • A Companion to Chinese Art. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Art History. .
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 245.
  • Jan Fontein, Rose Hempel. China, Korea, Japan. Propylaen Kunsgeschichte Berlin. pl. 205.
  • Hsieh Chih-liu. T'ang wu Tsi Sung Yuan ming chi [Noted Paintings of the T'ang, Five Dynasties, Sung and Yuan periods]. Shanghai. pl. 101.
  • James Cahill. Chinese Album Leaves in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Japan, 1961-1962. p. 37, pls. 20-21.
  • Xie Zhiliu. "唐五代宋元名迹." The Song and Yuan Dynasties. Shanghai. p. 197.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
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