Other Painting in National Palace Museum
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of paintings from the Song dynasty! Here you can explore some of the most beautiful and intricate works of art from this period. We have a variety of different paintings on display here, including The Red Cliff, Pasturing Horses, A Palace Concert, Herd of Deer in an Autumnal Grove, Early Snow on the River and Storied Mountains and Dense Forests. These paintings were created by some of the most influential artists of their time, and they provide us with a unique insight into Chinese culture during this period. Come take a look at these incredible artifacts today!
1. The Red Cliff
The painting is unsigned, but the artist is Wu Yuan-chih, a famous scholar under Emperor Chang-tsung who excelled at landscape painting. The painting illustrates the immortal "Ode to the Red Cliff" by Su Shih, which was written in 1082.
2. Pasturing Horses
This work, the third leaf in the album "Collected Treasures of Famous Paintings," shows a groom riding on a white horse side-by-side leading a black steed. On the painting is an inscription by the Song dynasty emperor Huizong (1082-1135) that reads, "A true trace of Han Gan, (as indicated by) the imperial brush in 'dinghai,'" a cyclical year that corresponds here to 1107. Han Gan was a famous painter of horses under Emperor Xuanzong (reigned 712-756) in the Tang dynasty.
3. A Palace Concert
This painting shows ten ladies of the inner court sitting around a large rectangular table. Some enjoy tea, while others drink wine. The four figures at the far end seem to be responsible for playing music and livening up the atmosphere. The instruments that they hold, from left to right, are bamboo pipes, zither, lute, and flute. The two standing figures are servant girls; the one in back plays a clapper to keep beat. The melodic and elegant music almost seems to intoxicate the figures, judging from their expressions. Even the small dog under the table seems undisturbed. This work bears no seal or signature of the artist. However, the original title slip reads, "Picture of A Palace Concert by a Yuan [1279-1368] Artist." Close examination of the hairstyles shows that some are combed in one direction on top (so-called "falling topknots"), while others are combed in two directions and tied into knots by the ears ("side knots"). With different hair ornaments, one of them even wears a "floral headdress." These all correlate with ladies' fashions in the T'ang dynasty. The woven bamboo-top table, cusped crescent stools, winged wine cups, and the way the lute is being played with a large pick all accord with late T'ang customs.
4. Herd of Deer in an Autumnal Grove
This painting depicts a herd of deer frolicking and at rest among a dense grove of maple trees in autumn with white birch scattered here and there as well. The painting conveys the flourishing scene of an autumn day somewhere to the north. The deer were completely rendered in light ink and delicate washes, while the trunks and branches of the trees were first delineated with ink and then piled with dense clusters of leaves in outlines.
5. Early Snow on the River
The painting is a handscroll that unrolls from right to left. The painting is of a river in winter, with snow beginning to fall. The artist used a lot of washes of ink and color, and used strong strokes to create the trees.
6. Storied Mountains and Dense Forests
Chu-jan was originally a monk at the K'ai-yuan Temple who specialized in painting the southern scenery of Kiangnan. He followed the vanquished Li Hou-chu of the Southern T'ang to the newly established Sung dynasty capital of K'ai-feng in 975. Chu-jan came under the influence of the northern landscape style in the Sung, and his horizontal "level-distance" manner of Tung Yuan was adapted to become a vertical "high distance" one. TITLE: ORIGINAL_TEXT: SUMMARY: Chu-jan was originally a monk at the K'ai-yuan Temple who specialized in painting the southern scenery of Kiangnan. He followed the vanquished Li Hou-chu of the Southern T'ang to the newly established Sung dynasty capital of K'ai-feng in 975.