Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

The Seven Sages Passing Through a Gate

Accession Number
1990/2.1

Title
The Seven Sages Passing Through a Gate

Artist(s)
Sheng Maojun (Sheng Mao-ch

Object Creation Date
early 17th century

Medium & Support
fan mounted as an album leaf, ink and light color on paper

Dimensions
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 Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy

Sheng Maojun
China, active 1600–1645

The Seven Sages Passing through a Gate
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
17th century
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.



Subject matter
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 Type
leaf

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
fan-shaped
fans (costume accessories)
horses (equipment)
ink
mountains
temples (buildings)
travelers (people by activity)
trees

3 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Samurai
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved