Spring Landscape

Artist: Attributed to Ma Wan (ca. 1310-1378)
Calligrapher: Yang Weizhen (1296-1370) Gong Jin (active 1340-1368)
Historical period(s)
Yuan or Ming dynasty, 1343, or later
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 83.2 × 27.5 cm (32 3/4 × 10 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, landscape, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), poems, scholar, spring, temple, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To ?
Frank Caro (1904-1980), New York. [1]

To 1987
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York. [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York. [3]


[1] See object file.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Frank Caro 1904-1980
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


This painting embodies the sedate aesthetic favored by scholar-artists of the Yuan (1279-1368) dynasty. The brushwork that describes the landscape is quintessentially that of China's scholar-painters, who trained by practicing calligraphy, which they revered as the highest art form. The long strokes that give the cliff texture are imbued with calligraphic flair.

Landscapes that showed scholars living in reclusion or traveling in nature were the preferred subject matter for literati painters in the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Such themes became popular during times of government corruption, when scholars wanted to underscore the belief that retirement was better than serving an unprincipled government. On this scroll, the two inscriptions in the upper portion-- attributed to Yang Weizhen (1296-1370) and Gong Jin (active 1340-68)--describe the joys of sailing on the Yangtze River in spring.

The painting bears an inscription by Ma Wan in the middle left that is dated 1343, but the cadence of the brushwork and palette suggest that this scroll may well have been executed later, probably in the Ming dynasty.

Published References
  • Cheng Chen-to. Yun hui chai tsang Tang Sung i lai ming hua chi [Collections of famous paintings from Tang and Sung times through Qing Dynasty in the Collection of the Yun hui chai]. vol. 1, Shanghai. vol. 1, pl. 50.
  • 4000 Years of Chinese Art: An Exhibition Organized and Lent by C.T. Loo. Exh. cat. Hartford, Connecticut. cat. 201, p. 6.
  • Hsu Pang-ta. Li-tai liu-chuan shu-hua tso-pin pien-nien-piao [Chronology of Extant Painting and Calligraphy of All Periods]. Peking. pp. 36, 254.
  • Marilyn Fu, Fu Shen. Studies in Connoisseurship: Chinese Paintings from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in New York, Princeton, and Washington, D.C., 3rd ed. Princeton, 1973. pp. 72-81.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 190, p. 286.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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