The Yueyang Pavilion

Artist: Xia Yong 夏永 (active mid-14th century)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, mid-14th century
Ink on silk
H x W (image): 26.3 x 27 cm (10 3/8 x 10 5/8 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 original pavilion depicted in this album leaf was erected during the early eighth century on the west gate of Yueyang, in Hunan Province, facing Dongting Lake. Over the centuries it was restored numerous times and entirely rebuilt in 1867. The most famous reconstruction was undertaken in 1044 by the local prefect Teng Zijing (991-1047), who two years later asked the eminent statesman and prose stylist Fan Zhongyan (989-1052) to compose a record of the pavilion to commemorate his efforts. Among the best-known prose works in Chinese literature, Fan's text was recorded on the painting in minute script by the fourteenth-century artist, Xia Yong, who also applied one of his seals.

Together with The Pavilion of the Prince of Teng (F1915.36h), this album leaf is a masterpiece of jiehua (ruled-line) ink painting, a term that originated in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279). Deriving from a long tradition of architectural drawing, jiehua is the only non-freehand style of Chinese painting. The brush was attached to a stick that could move smoothly along a groove in an ungraduated ruler called a jiechi, thus allowing the artist to draw regularly spaced and consistently even straight lines.


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. .
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 1, no. 93.
  • Marsha Weidner, University of California. Painting and Patronage at the Mongol Court of China, 1260-1368. Ann Arbor. pl. 145.
  • 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. 102.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 65, vol. 1: p. 168.
  • James Cahill. Chinese Album Leaves in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Japan, 1961-1962. p. 36, pl. 20-21.
  • Xie Zhiliu. "唐五代宋元名迹." The Song and Yuan Dynasties. Shanghai. p. 199.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. p. 246.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
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