Autumn foliage and birds

Artist: Formerly attributed to Cui Bai (active mid- to late 11th century)
Historical period(s)
Yuan or Ming dynasty, 14th-15th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 82.2 × 49.8 cm (32 3/8 × 19 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

autumn, bird, bird and flower, China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), 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. 1349, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. 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.

[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


A magpie is perched atop a tree to which a few sparse autumn leaves still cling. Two songbirds sit on the thorns below. The composition of this unsigned painting is based on Song dynasty (906-1279) conventions, but on the whole it is too open and loosely organized to be an exact copy. The relatively tight, descriptive brushwork dates stylistically to the Yuan (1279-1368) or early Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Published References
  • Richard M. Barnhart. An Enigmatic Seal and Three Early Flower-and-Bird Paintings. vol. 50, 2nd ed. Hong Kong, March/April 2019. p. 83, figs. 1a and 1.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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