Bringing a Lute to an Immortal’s Pavilion

Artist: Formerly attributed to Guo Zhongshu (傳)郭忠恕 (910-977)
Historical period(s)
Yuan or early Ming dynasty, 14th century
Ink on silk
H x W (image): 150 x 95.7 cm (59 1/16 x 37 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, Daoist Immortals, landscape, pavilion, qin, river, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To 1919
You Xiaoxi (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, to 1919 [1]

Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from You Xiaoxi in 1919 [2]

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


[1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1323, 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
You Xiaoxi (C.L. Freer source) late 19th-early 20th century


In the foreground, two men in scholar's robes accompanied by servants, each bearing his master's qin (zither, or lute), saunter across a rough wooden bridge. Their destination is apparently a pair of elaborate, two-storied pavilions built on the nearby lakeshore. Other scholars and servants can be glimpsed through the windows of the main pavilion, which stands on a stone foundation that extends into the water. Front and back sections of the pavilion are supported by ranks of sturdy pilings that rest on this foundation, while an intricate bracketing system carries the exquisitely decorated roofs of each story.

While the label attached at upper right identifies the two buildings as an immortal's lodge or belvedere, this association with the divine should be taken as a figure of speech. The pavilions are generic structures belonging to the mundane world, and their architectural elements are drawn in the precise jiehua (ruled-line) method. The label also attributes this painting to the tenth-century master of jiehua, Guo Zhongshu; however, the execution is technically consistent with the fourteenth-century continuation of his style and is probably the work of an unidentified master from the late-Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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