Hongli, the Qianlong emperor (1711-1799; reigned 1735-96) 
From 1763 to 1784
Peng Qifeng (1701-1784), Minister of War, given by the Qianlong emperor on February 18, 1763 
Peng Shaosheng (1740-1796), by descent from his father, Peng Qifeng 
Wu Yun (1811-1883) 
From at least 1909 to 1915
Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), Shanghai 
From 1915 to 1961
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), New York, NY, Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased through C. T. Loo & Co. from Pang Yuanji on May 15, 1915 
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Agnes E. Meyer in December 1961 
 Seven Qianlong’s seals and an inscription of the emperor’s poem are located on the painting, see “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” http://www.asia.si.edu/SongYuan/F1961.34/F1961-34.Documentation.pdf, accessed on May 23, 2012.
 Peng Qifeng, the high court official, received the handscroll as a gift from the Qianlong emperor at a banquet held on February 18, 1763. The circumstances of the gift were recorded in the colophon composed by Peng. After Peng’s death, his son, Peng Shaosheng, invited the famous calligrapher Wang Wenzhi (1730-1802) to inscribe the colophon on the scroll, which he did on May 6, 1786, see “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1.
 See note 2.
 Eighteen Wu Yun’s collector seals are located on the painting, see “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1.
 Pang Yuanji’s collector seal is located on the painting. The painting is listed in the traditional Chinese catalogue of Pang Yuanji’s collection, Xuzhai minghua lu (Shanghai: Shangyouxuan, 1909), 2:32a-36a as well as in the bilingual catalogue prepared by Pang on the occasion of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, see Pang Lai Ch’en [Pang Yuanji], Biographies of Famous Chinese Paintings: From the Private Collections of L.C. Pang, Che-kiang, China (Shanghai: Mercantile Printing Co., 1915), p. 76-77.
 The handscroll was among the paintings brought by Pang Yuanji, with the assistance of his cousin Pang Zanchen and the dealer C. T. Loo, to the United States on the occasion of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915, see Pang Lai Ch’en [Pang Yuanji] 1915, p. 76-77. The Meyers examined the painting in New York prior to its transfer to San Francisco in March and April 1915, see Eugene Meyer’s telegram to Charles L. Freer, April 30, 1915, Eugene Meyer Papers, Library of Congress, copy in object file. The purchase of the scroll was confirmed by an invoice issued by C. T. Loo & Co. to Eugene Meyer on May 15, 1915.
 See Agnes Meyer’s Deed of Gift, dated December 21, 1961, copy in object file.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Peng Qifeng 1701-1784
Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 1711-1799
Peng Shaosheng 1740-1796
Wu Yun 1811-1883
Pang Yuanji 1864-1949
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Landscape of fir-pines in wind and snow, with the artist's inscription and Emperor Qianlong's inscription. Six (6) colophons on five sheets of paper, plus one sheet with three (3) collector seals only. Sixty-five (65) collector seals in total.
Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, by Li Shan; [with] poem by His Majesty Qianlong.
Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, by Li Shan of the Jin dynasty. [Inscribed] in the month of sacrificing to the god of the hearth [the twelfth lunar month] in the xinchou year [January 10–February 7, 1902], Xili [Fei Nianci].
Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, by Li Shan
Made by Li Shan of Pingyang.
[Poem not translated]. Inscribed by the Qianlong emperor.
Surrounding the yard—a thousand, ten-thousand peaks,
Filling the sky, wind and snow smite the fir-pines.
Fire glows in the ground stove, at dusk I fall asleep,
Is there anyone else in the world so indolent as I?
This is a poem by Canliao [11th century]. Only one with a natural inclination to live among mountains could have composed it. Inscribed by the True Recluse of Huanghua [Yellow Flower Mountain]. A visitor came after I had written this, who said that the poem is by Jia Dao [779–849], but I do not know who is right.
During the Taihe reign period [1201–09], this old fellow [Li Shan] was still serving as Director of the Palace Library, and though he was indeed nearly eighty when I first made his acquaintance, his energy had not diminished in the slightest. Whenever he felt happy about some mural he had painted of great trees and rocks, he would step back and squint at it, then sigh to himself saying, ―Now that I’m old, I’m beginning to understand how to paint!‖ Had he truly not built up his strength for a long time and attained such a level of proficiency, his harmonious achievement certainly would not be so easy to know. Now the skill and finesse one sees in Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines are like this. But while it is no fault for someone late in years to trust in his own ability, can anyone in the mundane world truly understand him? Therefore when my deceased father [Wang Tingyun, who was a member of ] the Hanlin Academy, wrote out the poem by some earlier person as an appraisal [of Li’s character], it must have been to place the old fellow on the same ground as the ancient masters. Reading at it, as they say, ―makes one feel more deeply.‖ Twenty-second day in the sixth lunar-month of the guimao year [July 10, 1243], respectfully written by [Wang] Wanqing.
At right is the picture Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines painted by Li Shan, Director of the Palace Library during the Jin dynasty. Following it Old Man Yellow Flower, Wang Tingyun, inscribed a poem by Canliao [see Colophon 1]. Both gentlemen were descendents of famous Song-dynasty families and were renowned courtiers close to the [imperial] Wanyan clan. I have casually composed two quatrains to inscribe at the end [of the scroll], as follows: [poems not translated].If the two gentlemen [Li and Wang] were here today, I’d not be able to stop perspiring [from embarassment]. For Li’s brushwork is free and easy, exceptionally clear and fine, and goes outside the normal path, while [Wang] Tingyun’s [calligraphy] is smooth and elegant, and achieves the samadhi [full realization] of Haiyue’an [Mi Fu, 1051–1107]. Both [works] can be treasured. The [latter] gentleman was barely in his forty-seventh year when he died, yet he always referred to himself as Old Man Yellow Flower, which is extremely funny. At the end of the [second] colophon, the person who calls himself Wanqing attained the rank of Bureau Director of the Right Office in the Branch Secretariat. The History of the Jin Dynasty mistakenly writes [his name as] Manqing, so one should use the [signature] here to correct [this error].Summer, sixth lunar-month of the wuchen year in the Longqing reign period [June 25–July 23, 1568], respectfully inscribed by Wang Shizhen of Wujun.
I previously saw this scroll in Jinling [modern Nanjing], and it has remained in my dreams [ever since], so I am overcome with joy to have the opportunity now to see it again. My friends Qian Shubao [Qian Gu, 1508–after 1578], Gu Jikuang [Gu Shengzhi, active late-16th century], and You Ziqiu [You Qiu, active ca. 1670–1690], are seated here with me. The one recording this [event] is Wufeng shanren, Wen Boren. On the day after the full moon [sixteenth day] in the sixth lunar-month of the wuchen year in the Longqing reign period [July 10, 1568], during the period of Great Heat, [the brothers] Jingmei [Wang Shimao, 1536–1588] and Yuanmei [Wang Shizhen, 1526–1590] brought out this [painting for us to see]. It was truly a rare viewing experience!
On the sixth day of the first spring month in the twenty-eighth year of the Qianlong reign-period [February 18, 1763], the August Emperor rode to the Chonghua Palace and summoned court ministers, altogether twenty-four in number, to be given a banquet, and I your subject [Peng] Qifeng, received the Imperial Favor to be among them. After a while, His Majesty composed two stanzas of regulated verse and commanded His ministers and others [to create] matching poems, and He also made a special gift to each [of the twenty-four courtiers] of a scroll from the Imperial Household Collection painted by a famous artist. I your subject [Peng] Qifeng received Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, bowing my head respectfully to accept [the scroll]. After the banquet, I took it back to my official residence and rolled out the picture to examine it. [The painting] was done on silk by Li Shan, the Director of the Palace Library during the Taihe reign period [1201–09] of the Jin dynasty. There are a total of eleven fir-pines large and small, and ranges of peaks in serried ranks, unclear and indistinct with a cold and freezing look. The thatched hut is desolate and bare, and there is a person [inside] grasping the table and holding a scroll. In front of the hall, a stand of trees towers up, with straight trunks and lofty branches lifting into the snowy wind. They cannot be cowed or made to bend, and stay luxuriantly green [throughout the winter season] of the Primal Yin, seeming to lean over and shelter what lies below. As the Jin dynasty was not very long after the [Northern] Song, the texture strokes and use of [ink] wash on the trees and stones were influenced by the styles of Song-dynasty artists. Following [the painting] is a poem of Canliao [11th century] written out by the True Recluse of Yellow Flower [Mountain], Wang Tingyun. The colophon by Wang Shizhen of the Ming dynasty [see Colophon 3, above] praises his calligraphy [by stating that] his style of brushwork directly entered the chamber of Haiyue [Mi Fu, 1051–1107]. Yellow Flower’s son, [Wang] Wanqing, added a further inscription to [the scroll]. The manuscript by the Mountain Man of Yanzhou [Wang Shizhen] says that in this scroll Li Shan’s ―brushwork is free and easy, and goes outside the normal path.‖ All this being so, then from the [imperial] Wanyan clan [of the Jin dynasty] on down, this picture has been relished by famous worthies for several hundred years. I humbly read the quatrain in seven-character lines composed by His Majesty, and its thought is profound and eternal. The brushwork is effortless and untrammeled, the round [strokes are done] with spirit and the square with intelligence, each one specially forged and tempered. This scroll is worthy indeed of immortality! During the winter, when I your subject [Peng] Qifeng was in residence [at court], I received the Imperial Command promoting me to Left Censor-in-Chief. The Celestial Certificate descended, sternly enjoining me to maintain the moral integrity [of the pine], which is the last to wither [in winter].
As the Dispensation of the August Throne caused [me], this inferior timber of ailanthus and chestnut oak, to receive [the benefits of] rain and dew and shall forever safeguard their days, averting all harm from axe and hatchet, I was truly overwhelmed by [the Emperor’s] Generosity and Kindness. He had the [scroll’s] fastening pin of green jade carved with eleven characters in clerical script [reading], “Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, by Li Shan; [with] a poem by His Majesty Qianlong.‖ His seals [on the painting] read: Shiqu baoji, Sanxitang jingjian xi, Qianlong yulan zhi bao, Yi zisun, De jiaqu, Jixia yiqing, Qianlong jianshang, Zhenmi,13 and Zisun bao zhi. [The scroll also] has earlier [seals reading]: Pingyang, Qiankun qingshang, You Ming Wang shi tushu zhi yin, Jiangbiao Huang Lin, Xiubo, An Yizhou jiazhencang, Liang Qingbiao yin, Jiaolin jianding, Jiaolin miwan, Dingyuan,14Zhongya, Gu Jiude,15Yan Ze, and Zhang Yujun.16 I have not transcribed the collector seals on the [colophon] section behind [the painting]. The seven-character [text] on the inside label slip in front [of the painting] must have been written by Wang Zhideng [1535–1612] of the Ming dynasty. Respectfully recorded by the Metropolitan Graduate with Honors, Grand Master for Splendid Happiness, and Left Censor-in-Chief of the Surveillance Bureau, on duty in the Southern Study, your subject Peng Qifeng.
The scroll Wind and Snow in the Fir-pines, by Li Shan of the Jin dynasty, was bestowed by His Majesty on the Commander-in-chief, Lord Peng,17 who respectfully recorded [the event] from beginning to end, but did not get around to writing it [on the scroll] himself. As the Lord recently passed away, his son [Peng] Shaosheng [1740–1796] instructed me, the former Reader-in-waiting in the Hanlin Academy, Wang Wenzhi, to add his text [to the scroll]. It is the ninth day in the fourth lunar-month of the fifty-first year in the Qianlong reign period [May 6, 1786].
Zhijun 『直君』 (square intaglio) - outside label
Faxi dacang 『法喜大藏』 (rectangle relief) - frontispiece
Pingyang 『平陽』 (rectangle intaglio) - artist inscription
De jiaqu 『得佳趣』 (square intaglio)
Jixia yiqing 『幾暇怡情』 (square intaglio) - other inscription
illegible (square intaglio) - colophon 2
Wang Yuanmei yin 『王元美印』 (square intaglio)
Tiantao jushi 『天弢居士』 (square intaglio) - colophon 3
Zhi 『治』 (square relief/intaglio)
- colophon 5
Jiangbiao Huang Lin 『江表黃琳』 (square relief) – painting, lower right
Xiubo 『休伯』 (square relief) – painting, lower right
Lin yin 『琳印』 (rectangle intaglio) – colophon 1, left
Gu Congde 『顧從德』 (linked square intaglio/relief) – painting, lower right
Ruxiu 『汝脩』 (square intaglio) – colophon 1, mid-right
Gu shi Yunge zhencang 『顧氏芸閣珍藏』 (rectangle relief) – colophon 1, mid-right
Zhenyuan 『貞元』 (linked square relief) – painting/mountingsilk 2 join, top
Zhongya 『仲雅』 (square relief) – painting/mounting silk 2 join, bottom
Qiankun qingshang 『乾坤清賞』 (square intaglio) – painting, top left
You Ming Wang shi tushu zhi yin 『有明王氏圖書之印』 (square intaglio) – painting, top left
Fuzhi Xunyang dengchu guanfang 『撫治勛陽等處關防』 (rectangle relief) – colophon paper 6, upper right
Yan Ze zhi yin 『嚴澤之印』 (square intaglio/relief) – painting/mounting silk 3 join, bottom
Shengguo wenxian 『勝國文獻』 (square intaglio) – between colophons 1 and 2, bottom
Yi’an tushu 『易菴圖書』 (square intaglio) – between colophons 1 and 2, bottom
Zhang Zezhi 『張則之』 (rectangle relief) – colophon 1, middle bottom – (1/2)
Zhang Zezhi 『張則之』 (rectangle relief) – colophon 4, left – (2/2)
Zhang Liu 『張鏐』 (square intaglio) – painting, lower left corner – (1/2)
Zhang Liu 『張鏐』 (square intaglio) – colophon 1, lower left – (2/2)
Liang Qingbiao yin 『梁清標印』 (square intaglio) – mounting silk 2
Jiaolin jianding 『蕉林鑒定』 (square intaglio) – mounting silk 2
Cangyan 『蒼巖』 (square relief) – painting/mounting silk 3 join, top
Jiaolin miwan 『蕉林祕玩』 (square relief) – mounting silk 2/colophon 1 join, bottom
Hebei Tangcun 『河北棠村』 (square relief) – colophon 1/colophon 2 join, top
Yeqi yuyin 『冶溪漁隱』 (rectangle relief) – colophon 2, left paper strip/colophon 3 join, middle
Tangcun 『棠村』 (square relief) – colophon 3/colophon 4 join, middle
Cangyanzi 『蒼巖子』 (circle relief) – colophon 4, left
Guan qi dalue 『觀其大略』 (square intaglio) – colophon 4, left
An Yizhou jiazhencang 『安儀周家珍藏』 (rectangle relief) – painting, right
Zhenmi 『珍祕』 (square relief) – mounting, left of painting
Zisun bao zhi 『子孫保之』 (diamond intaglio) – mounting, left of painting
Anshi Yizhou shuhua zhi zhang 『安氏儀周書畫之章』 (rectangle intaglio) – colophon 2, left
Chaoxian ren 『朝鮮人』 (rectangle intaglio) – colophon 5, left
An Qi zhi yin 『安岐之印』 (square intaglio) – colophon 5, left
Qianlong yulan zhi bao 『乾隆御覽之寶』 (oval relief) – painting, upper right
Sanxitang jingjian xi 『三希堂精鑒璽』 (rectangle relief) – painting, upper right
Shiqu baoji 『石渠寶笈』 (square relief) – painting, upper right
Yi zisun 『宜子孫』 (square intaglio) – painting, upper right
Qianlong jianshang 『乾隆鑑賞』 (circle intaglio) – painting, upper left
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – mounting silk 1/frontispiece join, top – (1/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – mounting silk 1/frontispiece join, bottom – (1/6)
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – frontispiece/mounting silk 2/inside label join, top – (2/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – frontispiece/mounting silk 2 join, bottom – (2/6)
Wu Yun Pingzhai changshou 『吳雲平齋長壽』 (square intaglio) – mounting silk 2, middle
Wu Yun siyin 『吳雲私印』 (square intaglio) – mounting silk 2/painting join, bottom
Wu Pingzhai shending mingxian zhenji 『吳平齋審定名賢真跡』 (square relief) – painting, lower left
Erbai lanting zhai 『二百蘭亭齋』 (rectangle relief) – painting/mounting silk 3 join, bottom
Gui’an Wu Yun 『歸安吳雲』 (square intaglio) – mounting silk 3/colophon 1 join, middle
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – colophon 1/colophon 2 join, middle – (3/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – colophon 1/colophon 2 join, bottom – (3/6)
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – colophon 2, left paper strip/colophon 3 join, top – (4/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – colophon 2, left paper strip/colophon 3 join, bottom – (4/6)
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – colophon 3/colophon 4 join, top – (5/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – colophon 3/colophon 4 join, bottom – (5/6)
Baoleizi 『抱罍子』 (square relief) – colophon paper 5/colophon paper 6 join, top – (6/6)
Wu Pingzhai 『吳平齋』 (square relief-intaglio) – colophon paper 5/colophon paper 6 join, bottom – (6/6)
Wu Yun Pingzhai 『吳雲平齋』 (square intaglio, with animal motif) – far left end of scroll
Zhiwan 『之萬』 (square relief) – painting, lower left – (1/2)
Zhiwan 『之萬』 (square relief) – colophon 1/colophon 2 join, middle – (2/2)
Jingxian cengguan 『景賢曾觀』 (rectangle relief) – mounting silk 3, lower right
Xuzhai shending mingji 『虛齋審定名跡』 (square relief) – mounting silk 3, lower left
Fu’an 『复菴』 (square relief) – colophon 1, left, over last character
Chaoranshi 『超然室』 (square relief) – colophon 1/colophon 2 join, bottom
Chibao zhongjie zhi jia 『敕褒忠節之家』 (square relief) – colophon 2, lower left
Gaoyang X-shi 『高陽□氏』 (square relief) – colophon 2, left paper strip, middle
Yuansou yanfu 『蝯叟眼福』 (square relief) – colophon 3/colophon 4 join, bottom
On a cold winter's day, in a secluded thatched-roof cottage surrounded by bamboo and nestled in a grove of tall pine trees, a lone scholar-recluse warms himself at an earthen fire pit. Blunt, angular brush strokes define the pine needles and rough bark of the trees, behind which a landscape of jutting snow-covered peaks stretches into the distance.
The Chinese artist Li Shan was the foremost landscape painter under the Jin dynasty (1115-1234), which was founded by conquest when Jurchen tribes from Manchuria occupied northern China. Few authentic paintings produced during the Jin dynasty have survived, and this exquisite handscroll--entirely Chinese in form and inspiration--is the only genuine work by Li Shan among the several extant paintings sometimes attributed to him. His sharp definition of objects in the foreground and use of rich ink washes in the background mark him as a follower of the Li Cheng (919-967) and Guo Xi (ca. 1001-ca. 1090) style of landscape painting.
To learn more about this and similar objects, visit http://www.asia.si.edu/SongYuan/default.asp Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.
- Published References
- Lin-ts'an Li. A Study of Dots in Chinese Landscape Painting. vol. 9 Taipei, November-December 1974. pl. 3.
- William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. cat. 462.
- Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: pp. 218-219.
- Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga shi. 8 vols., Tokyo, 1981-1988. cat. 138, vol. 1: p. 134, vol. 1, pt. 2.
- Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. vol. 2: pp. 62, 130.
- Keiko Kawamoto. Nihon byobue shusei. 18 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1982. vol. 6: p. 141.
- Angela Li Lin. Notes on "Wind and Snow in Firpines" by Li Shan of the Chin Dynasty. vol. 15, nos. 2-3 Taipei. pls. 9,10,20,100.
- ku-kung chi k'an. vol. 14, no. 2. pl. 1.
- Chung-kuo shu hua [Chinese Painting]. Taipei. vol. 2: p. 30.
- Song Dynasty Paintings Project. multi-volumed, . .
- Mary Ellen Hayward. The Influence of the Classical Oriental Tradition. vol. 14, no. 2 Chicago, Summer 1979. fig. 7.
- Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 44, vol. 1: p. 159.
- James Cahill. The Art of Southern Sung China. New York. pp. 26-27, pl. 5.
- Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 20, pp. 40-41.
- Katharine P. Burnett. Shaping Chinese Art History: Pang Yuanji and His Painting Collection. Cambria Sinophone World Series Amherst, New York, September 28, 2020. p. 42, fig. 5.
- Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 48.
- Steven D. Owyoung. The Huang Lin Collection. vol. XXXV New York and Honolulu, HI. p. 59, fig. 4.
- Linda Cook Johnson. The Art of the Jurchen Revival: A Court Movement in Chin Dynasty. San Jose, CA. p. 77.
- Susan Bush. Literati Culture Under the Chin (1122-1234). vol. 15, no. 2, Summer 1969. pp. 103-112, pl. 3.
- Arthur Mu-sen Kao. The Life and Art of Li K'an. Ann Arbor. pp.129,145-6,187.
- Susan Bush. Clearing After Snow in the Min Mountains and Chin Landcape Painting. vol. 11, no. 3 London, September 1965. p. 166, fig. 5.
- Thomas Lawton. Notes on Five Paintings from a Ch'ing Dynasty Collection. vol. 8 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 192-210, fig. 3.
- et al. Chinese Calligraphy. The Culture and Civilization of China New Haven and Beijing. p. 283, pl. 5.41.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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