Pleasures of Fishing

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 141.5 x 74 cm (55 11/16 x 29 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

boat, China, fishing, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)
Provenance research underway.

Fishermen reel in heavy nets using jury-rigged pulleys that temporarily link together their small craft. Wives and children are ready to help and a grandmother peeks through a window cradling an infant. This romantic view of communal life on the water appealed strongly to art patrons in the mid-Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Many of them were court officials who faced daily the threat of political treachery at the corrupt mid-Ming court and therefore envied the seemingly joyful, self-sufficient independence of fishermen. The precise draftsmanship of "Pleasures of Fishing" is typical of Ming art by professional painters who consciously sought to revive the cultural glory of academic painting in the Song dynasty (960-1279).

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