Autumn Chrysanthemum, from the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting

Accession Number

Autumn Chrysanthemum, from the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
19th century

Medium & Support
color woodblock print on paper

8 3/4 in x 11 3/16 in (22.23 cm x 28.42 cm);22 1/16 in x 18 1/16 in (56.04 cm x 45.88 cm);11 9/16 in x 10 1/4 in (29.3 cm x 26.1 cm);11 3/16 in x 8 3/4 in (28.4 cm x 22.2 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
In the late seventeenth century, three brothers in the Wang family prepared the illustrations for what would become the most lavish woodlblock print book made in China to that date: The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (Jiezi yuan hua zhuan / Chieh-tzu-yüan hua-chuan). A thirteen-volume compendium of Chinese painting styles, The Mustard Seed Garden did for Chinese painting what the lithograph did for European painting in the age before photography: it was the means by which the work of famous artists became known to a vast audience across time and space. Every aspiring artist in China, and many in Korea and Japan as well, studied its pages of both full compositions and isolated motifs.
The name of the book is taken from the country residence of author of the preface, the essayist and playwright Li Yu / Li Yü óõãô (1611–80). The first edition, published in the southern urban center of Nanjing / Nanking over the course of two decades, was a best seller. Innumerable reprint editions were issued in China (the pages shown here are from an edition published in the 1880s) and Japan, and the first full English translation and reproduction appeared in the 1950s.
Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art
Exhibited in "Flora and Fauna in Chinese Art," April 6, 2002 - December 1, 2002.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.


& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted