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

Returning Herder and Water Buffalo, After Rain

Accession Number
1965/2.70

Title
Returning Herder and Water Buffalo, After Rain

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
13th century

Medium & Support
ink on silk

Dimensions
8 13/16 in x 9 1/2 in (22.38 cm x 24.13 cm)

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

Label copy
Returning Herder and Water Buffalo, After Rain
China, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
13th century
Album leaf mounted as hanging scroll, ink on silk
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection
Fund, 1965/2.70

The ability to capture a moment with precise naturalism is characteristic of the professional painters traditionally associated with the imperial academy in the Southern Song dynasty. Although the buffalo and the herd boy in this work are small, aspects of their anatomy are well defined, and both the fallen reeds and fluttering tree tops enhance the vivid impression of an evening storm. The sense of returning is subtly evoked by the suggestion of a female figure waiting in the doorway.

An inscription on the lacquer box that houses this painting mistakenly attributes it to the great twelfth-century painter Li Tang (circa 1070–circa 1150). The painting traveled to Japan as early as the late fifteenth century, where it entered the collection of Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1435–90), the eighth shogun (military ruler) in the Ashikaga clan. The attribution may have been made by one of Yoshimasa's art advisors, based on an imperfect knowledge of Li Tang’s work and a desire to improve the pedigree of an unsigned painting.

Subject matter
The image suggests a herd boy returning to his house after an evening storm. Although the buffalo and the herd boy in this work are small, aspects of their anatomy are well defined, and both the fallen reeds and fluttering tree tops enhance the vivid impression of an evening storm. The sense of returning is subtly evoked by the suggestion of a female figure waiting in the doorway.

Physical Description
An ink image painted on silk, depicting a buffalo and herd boy standing on the grassy ground on the bottom right. There is a house further back behind among several trees. The bottom and left section is water and most of the top space is left blank.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

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
Landscapes
Southern Song
bodies of water (natural)
buffalo
buffaloes
landscapes (representations)
rain
shepherds
trees
water

5 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Ink and Realisms in China before 1800
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Landscape and Nature, Comparative and Historical
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Silk
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted