Gazing at the Moon under Wind-swept Pines

Artist: Style of Ma Yuan 馬遠 (active late 12th-early 13th century) Formerly attributed to Jiang Shen (ca. 1090-1138)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, mid 15th century
Zhe School
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 170.9 x 92.2 cm (67 5/16 x 36 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), moon, pine tree

To 1918
Wang Jiantang, Shanghai to 1918 [1]

From 1918 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Wang Jiantang, in New York, in 1918 [2]

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


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1286, 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


Set against a mountainside, a massive pine tree offers protection and repose for an aged scholar and his attendant, who gaze at the moon through the tree's gnarled branches. The pine needles remain crisp and green, despite a chilly atmosphere. In this solemn setting, the stalwart pine symbolizes longevity and steadfastness. Moreover, pines represent the quality of self-discipline, which is prized by Confucian scholars.

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