Riverside Pavilion in Snowy Mountains

Artist: Formerly attributed to Guo Xi (傳)郭熙 (ca. 1001-1090)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, mid-16th century
Zhe School
Hanging scroll mounted on panel; ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 138.1 x 82.7 cm (54 3/8 x 32 9/16 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, landscape, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), river, snow, water, winter

To 1917
Wang Jiantang, Shanghai to 1917 [1]

From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Wang Jiantang in 1917 [2]

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


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1183, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[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
Wang Jiantang (C.L. Freer source) late 19th-early 20th century


On a gloomy winter day, a scholar sits alone in his elegant pavilion as his kneeling servant prepares some warm tea. Traditionally associated with longevity, and beloved for its spiritual freedom, a crane huddles against the cold on the veranda in front. Small figures make their way across a bridge, or pass along the trail that ascends the mountain to a pagoda and crimson temple secluded among the trees on a high ridge. By the river, a fisherman in a rain cape of woven bark steps from his boat and heads toward his ramshackle dwelling.

The painting is dominated by a cluster of snowy peaks, their sculpted forms standing in relief against a lowering sky darkened with washes of ink. The twisting spine of the central massif, the jagged angular brushwork, and puffy, cloudlike rocks recall the monumental landscapes of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) painter Guo Xi, whose forged signature appears on the left edge of the painting. This work is a fine example of the highly mannered, almost rococo, continuation of Guo's style that was popular among Ming dynasty artists of the sixteenth-century Zhe School, which was centered in the former imperial capital of Hangzhou. Such wintery works were often created and displayed during the hot season as a psychological means to cool off.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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