The Nine Elders of Fragrant Hill

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Artist: Formerly attributed to Ma Xingzu (active ca. 1131-1162)
Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, mid-12th-13th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 27.1 x 217.2 cm (10 11/16 x 85 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


bamboo, celebration, China, go, pine tree, scholar, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), waterfall
Provenance research underway.

This handscroll depicts a party hosted on May 1, 845, by the poet Bai Juyi (772-846) for his friends at his garden estate on Fragrant Hill outside the capital of Luoyang. Shortly afterwards, the group formed a seniors' club, which inspired social gatherings of elderly scholars for more than a thousand years. In this section of the scroll, the tipsily dancing figure wearing a crown of leaves may portray the poet Bai Juyi, who is welcoming his guests. The figures are portrayed in a densely planted, rocky landscape, where old pine trees both create a sense of space and frame the figures as they amuse themselves in their cultivated surroundings.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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