Picnic on the Riverbank

Artist: Probably by Yuan Jiang (ca. 1694-1743) Formerly attributed to Ma Yuan 馬遠 (active late 12th-early 13th century)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 18th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W: 104.7 x 101.4 cm (41 1/4 x 39 15/16 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)

boat, celebration, China, eating, landscape, pagoda, pine tree, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), temple

To 1917
John Fenning, New York, to 1917 [1]

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

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


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1189, 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)

John Fenning (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The spurious signature in the lower left corner attributes this painting to the Southern Song master Ma Yuan (late twelfth-early thirteenth century). In fact, on the basis of its composition and landscape details, this painting should be attributed to Yuan Jiang of the eighteenth century. Yuan, a court painter, is known for integrating finely detailed renderings of architecture and figures with monumental landscapes. In this painting, a group of scholar-officials and their servants picnic in a dramatic, atmospheric riverside setting. Their fancifully structured boat waits to ferry them back.

Published References
  • James Cahill. Yuan Chiang and His School: Part I and II. vols. 5-6 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1963 - 1966. vol. 6: pp. 191 - 212, fig. 4.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 259.
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.