- Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
- Title: RISING EARLY IN SPRING TO LAMENT FLOWERS
- Artist: WEN SHU
- Format (cm): 111.8 x 57 cm.
- Format (in): 44 x 22 ½ in.
- Last Sale price: 413 000,00
- Last Sale date:
WEN SHU (1595-1634) RISING EARLY IN SPRING TO LAMENT FLOWERS Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk Inscribed and signed, with five seals of the artist Dated xinwei year (1631) Five collectors’ seals; two of Liu Shu (1759-1861), one each of Ge Jinlang (1837-1890), Wu Puxin (1897-1987), and the Wuqi An collection (20th century) Titleslip by Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997) 44 x 22 ½ in. (111.8 x 57 cm.)
Formerly in the collection of Wong Nan-p’ing (1924-1985). Private Collection, US.
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
Ge Jinlang, Airiyinlou shuhualu , 1881. Suzuki Kei, Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings, vol. 2, no. S10-007. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Views from Jade Terrace: Chinese Women Artists , Indianapolis, 1988, pp. 38-39, note 39. Yale University Art Gallery, The Jade Studio: Masterpieces of Ming and Qing Painting and Calligraphy from the Wong Nan-p’ing Collection, New Haven, 1994, pp. 122-127, no. 26. Sydney L. Moss Ltd, Escape from the Dusty World: Chinese Paintings and Literati Works of Art , London, 1999, pp. 22-25, no. 2. Tian Hong, Overseas Collectors in the Twentieth Century: Wang Nanping’s Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings , Tianjin, 2015, vol. 2, p. 243, no. 76.
This painting by Wen Shu, one of the most important women artists of the Ming dynasty, depicts the poetic theme “Rising Early in the Spring to Lament Flowers,” as indicated by her inscription. This subject was made popular in literature by the Tang dynasty-poet Bai Juyi (772-846). As Wen Shu also noted in her inscription, her composition was inspired by Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), whose descendant was her husband. The painting by Zhao Mengfu of this theme is no longer extant. The clothing of the lady recalls Tang dynasty fashions and is echoed in similar paintings of this theme, such as one by Miss Qiu (active mid-late 16th century) in the National Palace Museum, Taipei and another painted in 1768 by Lu Can and Xue Chou (both 18th century) in the Palace Museum, Beijing.