Pure Sanctuary with Pine Grown Stairs


Artist: Copy after Yan Ciping (傳)閻次平 (active ca. 1164-after 1181)
Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 15th-16th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 23.1 x 23 cm (9 1/8 x 9 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Fan (mounted as album leaf)

China, lake, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), pine tree

To 1909
Loon Gu Sai, Beijing, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loon Gu Sai, Beijing, in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Album List, pg. 30, S.I. 8, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. According to Ingrid Larsen, "'Don’t Send Ming or Later Pictures': Charles Lang Freer and the First Major Collection of Chinese Painting in an American Museum," Ars Orientalis vol. 40 (2011), Loon Gu Sai was possibly Lunguzhai, a store in the antiques district of Liulichang.
This object exhibits seals, colophons, or inscriptions that could provide additional information regarding the object’s history; see Curatorial Remarks in the object record for further details.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Loon Gu Sai (C.L. Freer source)


On a rocky promontory, the unassuming buildings of a Buddhist or Daoist monastic complex overlook the placid waters of a lake. Narrow steps lead up the slope to a smaller building hidden among tall pines. Conforming to Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279) practice, the main composition is concentrated into one corner, while the remainder of the picture space is given over to water, atmospheric effects, and vague landscape forms in the distance. This deftly rendered painting is a close copy of an extant fan attributed to the twelfth-century court artist, Yan Ciping. Technical aspects of the brushwork and certain differences in detail from the older version suggest a late-fifteenth-century date of execution.

Published References
  • James Cahill. Chinese Album Leaves in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Japan, 1961-1962. p. 43, pl. 27.
  • Song Dynasty Paintings Project. multi-volumed, . .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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