Lofty Scholar in Autumn Woods

Artist: Chen Mei 陳枚 (ca. 1694-ca. 1745)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, late 1730s-mid 1740s
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 106 x 92.5 cm (41 3/4 x 36 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

autumn, China, landscape, path, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), scholar, tree
Provenance research underway.

A native of Songjiang, Jiangsu Province, Chen Mei moved while young to the imperial capital at Beijing, where he studied the styles of Song and Yuan dynasty (10th-14th century) masters, and became known for the polish and exquisite detail of his small landscapes. In 1726, he was appointed as a painter at the imperial court, where he continued to serve into the 1740s. During this time, Chen Mei came into contact with European styles of painting, which had been introduced to the Qing court by Jesuit painter-missionaries. While Chen's themes, compositions, and brushwork remained entirely traditional, his manner of using washes and shading to achieve atmosphere and three-dimensionality, and his modeling of rock formations to resemble the effects seen in printed engravings, such as the landforms in the foreground of this painting, were clearly influenced by Western art.

Published References
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 253.
  • James Cahill. Pictures for Use and Pleasure: Vernacular Painting in High Qing China. Berkeley and Los Angeles. pp. 63-64, fig. 2.21.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. 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.