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Copyright
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Boating on a River in Autumn

Accession Number
1976/1.224

Title
Boating on a River in Autumn

Artist(s)
Chen Huan

Object Creation Date
1596

Medium & Support
album leaf matted to frame, ink on gold paper

Dimensions
8 ¾ in x 12 ¼ in (22.23 cm x 31.12 cm);22 1/16 in x 28 1/16 in (56.04 cm x 71.28 cm);14 11/16 in x 23 7/16 in (37.31 cm x 59.53 cm);8 ¾ in x 12 ¼ in (22.23 cm x 31.12 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of James J. Freeman

Label copy
Inscription: In the spring of 1596, painted in the style of Old Man Stone Field, and presented to the venerable Mr. Wen for his enjoyment and comment. Chen Huan
Two collectors’ seals
As the artist states in his inscription, in this work he is emulating the late fifteenth–early sixteenth century Wu School master Shen Zhou (1427–1509), who named his studio “Stone Field.” The dark ink dots and brushstrokes of the rocks and trees, and the calligraphy of the inscription, are strikingly similar to Shen Zhou’s style.
Here a solitary man sits on the deck of his small boat, gazing into the distance. Defined by its limited number of components, the work conjures a peculiar effect—the impression that this scene is a small section of a larger, more complex landscape.
Gallery Rotation Spring/Summer 2011
Chen Huan
China, active late 16th and early 17th century
Boating on a River in Autumn
1596
Ming Period (1368–1644)
Album leaf matted to a frame, ink on gold paper
Gift of James J. Freeman, 1976/1.224
This work presents a solitary man on the deck of his small boat, gazing into the distance. Defined by its limited number of components, the composition draws the viewer’s attention to the engaging brushstrokes, which are both systematic and at times awkward. The dark ink dots and strokes of the rocks and trees and the calligraphy of the inscription are strikingly similar to those of the Wu School master Shen Zhou (1427–1509), whose work, the inscription tells us, the artist is emulating.

Subject matter
As the artist states in his inscription, in this work he is emulating the late fifteenth–early sixteenth century Wu School master Shen Zhou (1427–1509), who named his studio “Stone Field.” The dark ink dots and brushstrokes of the rocks and trees, and the calligraphy of the inscription, are strikingly similar to Shen Zhou’s style.
Inscription: In the spring of 1596, painted in the style of Old Man Stone Field, and presented to the venerable Mr. Wen for his enjoyment and comment. Chen Huan Two collectors’ seals

Physical Description
A lone boatman appears from behing the rocks, looking forward. Above him and slightl foregrounded arches a tree, and behind him lay a series of trees and rocks. Black dots are used to accent the rocks, and repeating patterns indicate leaves on trees. Red seals are in the lower left and lower right corners, and a third is at the end of the block of calligraphic text at top right.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type
leaf

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
autumn
boats
calligraphy (process)
landscapes (environments)
painting (coating)
painting (image-making)
paintings (visual works)

3 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Landscape and Nature, Comparative and Historical
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Travel
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted