Reminiscences of Nanjing: Climbing Caishi in Mid-Autumn


Artist: Shitao (1642-1707)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1707
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 23.8 x 19.2 cm (9 3/8 x 7 9/16 in)
China, Nanjing
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf

autumn, China, landscape, pavilion, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), river, WWII-era provenance

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). [1]

To 1987
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York. [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York. [3]


[1] See object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Zhang Daqian China, 1899-1983
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


This image belongs to an album that Shitao created the last year of his life as he reflected on experiences of the 1680s. The moonlit mountain is located in Anhui Province, in southeast China, and according to the artist's inscription he left Anhui in 1680 to move to Nanjing, where he served as a monk in a Buddhist temple. By the time he painted this scene, however, he was devoting himself full-time to artistic exploration. Unlike most painters of his era, Shitao had always avoided imitating earlier masters, and in old age his artistic style became increasingly unorthodox. Here Shitao's use of a radical degree of asymmetry is typical of how he was developing new forms of visuality. The extreme brevity of his brushwork, including the single-stroke mountains on the horizon, foreshadows abstraction in modern Chinese painting.

Published References
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 206, p. 310.
  • Richard M. Barnhart. Wintry Forests, Old Trees: Some Landscape Themes in Chinese Painting. Exh. cat. New York. p. 63.
  • Chang Wanli. Shitao shuhua ji (Selected Painting and Calligraphy of Shih-Tao). multi-volumed, Hong Kong. pl. 95.
  • Richard Edwards. The Paintings of Tao-chi 1641-ca 1720: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held at the Museum of Art, University of Michigan, August 13-September 17, 1967. Exh. cat. Ann Arbor. pp. 44, 94, fig. 19.
  • Marilyn Fu Fu Shen. Studies in Connoisseurship: Chinese Paintings from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in New York, Princeton, and Washington, D.C., Third Edition. Princeton, 1973. pp. 302-313.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

Related Objects