The Drunken Monk

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Artist: Traditionally attributed to Li Gonglin (傳)李公麟 (ca. 1049-1106)
Calligrapher: Frontispiece by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711-1799)
Inscription: Three inscriptions by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711-1799)
Colophon: Two colophons by Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 乾隆帝 (1711-1799) Colophon attributed to Su Shi (1037-1101) Colophon by Dongcun (13th-14th century?)
Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, mid-12th to mid-13th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 32.5 x 60.8 cm (12 13/16 x 23 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


baimiao style, China, drinking, monk, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279)

Xiang Yuanbian (1515-1590) [1]

Zhang Liu (active mid-17th century) [2]

Liang Qingbiao (1620-1691) [3]

An Qi (1683-after 1742) [4]

Hongli, the Qianlong emperor (1711-1799; reigned 1735-96) [5]

Yongyan, the Jiaqing emperor (1760-1820; reigned 1796-1820) [6]

From at least 1909 to 1915
Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), Shanghai [7]

From 1915 to 1968
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 [8]

From 1968
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Agnes E. Meyer in 1968 [9]


[1] Thirty seven collector seals of Xiang Yuanbian are located on the scroll, see “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,”, accessed on May 23, 2012.

[2] Two collector seals of Zhang Liu appear on the scroll. Zhang Liu was a mounter of paintings and calligraphy from Yangzhou in the Yangzi delta who later became an art dealer and both supplied and mounted numerous works for the northern collector Liang Qingbiao. See “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1.

[3] Four collector seals of Liang Qingbiao are located on the scroll. See “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1.

[4] Six collector seals of An Qi are located on the scroll. See “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1. The painting was recorded by An Qi in the catalogue of his collection, An Qi, Moyuan huiguani (preface 1742) (Beijing: Hanwenzhai, 1914), vol. 4, juan, Bei song, 1:7a-8a.

[5] The Qianlong emperor contributed seven written texts to the scroll, accompanied by sixteen personal seals. In addition, twenty-six Qianlong collection seals appear on the scroll. See “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1. The painting was recorded in the imperial catalogue published in 1793, see Wang Jie et al., Shiqu baoji xubian (Taibei: National Palace Museum, 1971), vol. 5, p. 2697.

[6] One Jiaqing’s seal has been identified on the scroll, see See “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1.

[7] Pang Yuanji’s collector seal is located on the scroll. The outside label slip bears an inscription written by the calligrapher He Weipu (1842-1922): “Drunken Monk, by Li Boshi [Li Gonglin]. Treasured in the collection of Xuzhai [Pang Yuanji],” see “Song and Yuan Painting and Calligraphy,” cited in note 1. The painting is listed with detailed description in the catalogue of Pang Yuanji’s collection , Pang Yuanji, Xuzhai minghua lu (Shanghai: Shangyouxuan, 1909), 1:1a-4b. as well as in the bilingual catalogue compiled by Pang on the occasion of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, 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. 28-29.

[8] The scroll 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. 28-29. 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 C. T. Loo & Co.’s invoice, issued to Eugene Meyer on May 15, 1915. Agnes E. Meyer recorded the painting in her book Chinese Painting: As Reflected in the Thought and Art of Li Lung-mien, 1070-1106 (New York: Duffield & Co., 1923), p. 365, no. 61.

[9] See Agnes E. Meyer’s Deed of Gift, dated July 24, 1967, where the painting is listed as no. 3 in the document’s Annex, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

An Qi
Zhang Liu mid 17th century
Xiang Yuanbian 1525-1590
Liang Qingbiao 1620-1691
Hongli, the Qianlong emperor 1711-1799
Yongyan, the Jiaqing emperor 1760-1820; reigned 1796-1820
Pang Yuanji 1864-1949
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)


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

Published References
  • Kohara Hironobu, Fu Shen. To kocho no shoga. 2 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pl. 80.
  • Nakata Yujiro, Fu Shen. O-bei shuzo Chugoku hosho meiseki shu [Masterpieces of Chinese Calligraphy in American and European Collections]. 6 vols., Tokyo, 1981-1983. vol. 1.
  • Chang Wen-chi. "醉僧之意不在酒--宋代醉僧圖的意涵." Beyond Drunkenness: Song Paintings of Drunken Monk. vol. 33, no.4 Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. p. 27, fig. 3 and fig. 11.
  • Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 30, pp. 72-73.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
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