The Seven Sages Passing Through a GateArtist(s)Sheng Maojun (Sheng Mao-chObject Creation Dateearly 17th centuryMedium & Supportfan mounted as an album leaf, ink and light color on paperDimensions
7 3/16 in x 20 7/16 in (18.2 cm x 51.9 cm);22 1/16 in x 28 1/16 in (56.04 cm x 71.28 cm);17 15/16 in x 26 3/16 in (45.6 cm x 66.5 cm);7 3/16 in x 20 7/16 in (18.2 cm x 51.9 cm)Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection FundLabel copy
China, active 1600–1645
The Seven Sages Passing through a Gate
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Fan mounted as an album leaf, ink and light color on paper Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund, 1990/2.1
Gatherings of renowned scholars were a popular subject in Chinese painting. Now mounted as an album leaf, Sheng Maojun’s fan painting alludes to a historical event of the Kaiyuan era (713–41), when seven prominent scholars celebrated the first snowfall of winter by traveling to Longmen temple outside of Chang’an (present day Xi’an, in central China).
Sheng Maojun’s family included five professional painters who likely worked together to produce paintings for Suzhou’s art market. His better-known elder brother was Sheng Maoye, whose handscroll The Orchid Pavilion Gathering is also on display in this case. A comparison of the two paintings sheds light on the role each brother presumably played in the family workshop. Sheng Maoye’s handscroll references literary works, suggesting he received a better education than Sheng Maojun. Additionally, Sheng Maojun appears to have been less skilled at painting figures, perhaps indicating he had fewer opportunities to refine his technique.
This fan painting depicts a well-known historical event of the Kaiyuan era (713–41), when seven prominent scholars celebrated the first winter snow by venturing forth together for an outing to the famous Longmen temple outside of the capital city of Chang’an (today’s Xi’an). This attractive fan was painted by Sheng Maojun, the younger brother of the renowned painter Sheng Maoye from Suchou.Physical Description
A temple lies in the not-so-distant background of tree and mountains. Travellors weave their way along the path, some on horseback. They have their heads covered--some with cloth and some with hats.Primary Object Classification Unbound Work Primary Object TypeleafAdditional Object Classification(s)PaintingRights
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fans (costume accessories)
travelers (people by activity)