Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), Shanghai, China, to 1916 
From 1916 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Pang Yuanji, through Pang Zanchen (1881-1951) and Seaouke Yue (You Xiaoxi) (late 19th-early 20th century), in New York, in 1916 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1125, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, P'ang Catalogue: Antique Famous Chinese Paintings Collected by P'ang Lai Ch'en, no. 13. 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.
 According to Ingrid Larsen, "'Don’t Send Ming or Later Pictures': Charles Lang Freer and the First Major Collection of Chinese Painting in an American Museum," Ars Orientalis vol. 40 (2011), pg. 23 and pg. 37, note 118. Larsen explains that Pang Zanchen (the younger brother of Pang Yuanji) and Seaouke Yue were tasked by Pang Yuanji with bringing his paintings to New York to show them to Charles Lang Freer. See also, Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1125, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 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
Pang Yuanji (C.L. Freer source) 1864-1949
This finely executed painting shows a grizzled cavalry warrior who has removed his armor and rests while he inspects his arrows. Glad to be rid of its saddle, his horse rolls on the ground, happily kicking its legs in the air. The horse has an incision in its ear, a practice followed by the Khitans. These seminomadic people lived on the northeastern border regions of the Northern Song (960-1127) empire in the general area of modern Manchuria, where they established their own Liao dynasty (907-1125).
The painting is attributed to Zhang Kan, a native of Waqiao (modern Xiongxian, Hebei Province), located near the Yan Mountains on the border of Liao territory. Zhang was particularly renowned for his accurate depictions of his nomadic neighbors and their horses. As seen here, his paintings are enlivened with a close attention to detail, such as the notched ear of the horse and the dress and armaments of the warrior. While none of Zhang's original paintings has survived, this work exhibits the features most closely associated with his style and may be a slightly later copy of a genuine composition by Zhang.
A rare official seal from the Northern Song dynasty in the upper right corner helps to date this painting to the late eleventh or early twelfth century. This seal, which reads Shangshusheng yin (seal of the imperial secretariat), was only employed from around 1083 to 1126 on paintings and calligraphy belonging to the imperial collection of the Northern Song dynasty.
To learn more about this and similar objects, visit http://www.asia.si.edu/SongYuan/default.asp Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.
- Published References
- Song Dynasty Paintings Project. multi-volumed, . .
- Pang Yuanji. Tang Wu dai Song Yuan ming hua: Wuxing Pang shi cang [Antique Famous Chinese Paintings: Collected by P'ang Lai Ch'en]. Shanghai. pl. 13.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
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