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The case of the three paintings by Wang Meng Griffin, Helen Wodehouse 1968

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THE CASE OF THE THREE PAINTINGS BY WANG MENG by HELEN WODEHOUSE GRIFFIN B.A., University of British Columbia, 1938 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Fine Arts We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Apri l , 1968 In p resent ing t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study . I f u r t h e r agree that permiss ion f o r ex tens i ve copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s represen -t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s h a l l not be al lowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of F ine A r t s The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date A p r i l 25, 1968 ABSTRACT The problem in this thesis is to find out which of three of (the Chinese fourteenth Century painter) Wang Meng's paintings in the Palace Collection in Taiwan, is the original or "least-corrupted" and which the copies. They are hanging scrolls, ink and slight colour on paper, approximately four feet by two feet titled Hua-ch'i yuVyin. The aim is to show that by using Western scientific art history analysis^some advance is possible; and the results may help in establishing pivot points, called here "prime objects", necessary for establishing a history of styles for Chinese painting. Materials used were photographs taken by the University of Michigan, Department of History of Art in 1965-6 in Taipei, Taiwan. Methods used were those istamdard^for.;western art historians, adapted for Chinese paintings and now being put into practice by Professor Wen Fong of Princeton. Data was gathered from translations of ancient critics in China by 0. Siren and discussions of these by Sherman Lee, James Cahill , Richard Edwards and others. But most important was a detailed, energetic and time consuming study of the reproductions of the three paintings, and the application of Professor Wen Fong's reasoning to this study. It was found that internal, painting-style, analysis was supported by external, colophon-seal findings, to give a more convincing r result. Results showed that A is most likely to be the original while B is probably a forgery of A and C a "free" copy of B. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I. INTRODUCTION 1 Copies 1 Necessity of establishing "true" works . . . . 5 Importance of Wang Meng 7 II. THE PROBLEM 11 Description of paintings 11 Previous classifications 13 Aim and approach 15 III. CHOICE OF SUBJECT 18 A Later version 23 IV. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE 25 Poems 25 Seals 34 V. INTERNAL EVIDENCE 36 Tracings ' 37 Techniques 38 Ink Tone 38 Space recession 39 Brush stroke 40 Roots 40 CHAPTER r A U £ Rocks 4 1 Bamboo 41 Thatch 42 Mountains 42 Leafy tree 43 Results: Ch'i Yun 44 VI. CONCLUSION 45 BIBLIOGRAPHY 5 0 ILLUSTRATIONS LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1 A, YV73 "Flower Stream Fisherman Recluse by Wang Meng ("Original" ?) Figure 2 B, YV264 "Flower Stream Fisherman Recluse by Wang Meng ("Copy" ?) Figure 3 c , YV265 "Flower Stream Fisherman Recluse by Wang Meng ("Free Copy" ?) Figure 4 D, NAlOd "Flower Stream Fisherman Recluse by Wang Meng ("Free Copy" ?) Figure 5 A Detail of lower l e f t side Figure 6 A Detail of lower right side, roots Figure 7 A Detail of lower l e f t side, rock Figure 8 B Detail of lower l e f t side, rock Figure 9 C Detail of lower l e f t side, rock Figure 10 An i n s c r i p t i o n and seals by Empe ror lung ("Original and Copy") Figure 11 A, B and C Tracings Figure 12 A, B and C Showing composition Figure 13 A, B and C Thatch roofs and tree trunks PREFACE The problem is to show which of three paintings illustrated: Figures 1, 2 and 3, is the most likely to be the original one done by Wang Meng. (13087-1385) The unavoidable weakness is that I have not been able to inspect the originals of these, which are in the National Palace Collection in Taiwan. Nevertheless, this thesis is the ground work which is necessary in preparation for first hand inspection; and I hope to be able to examine the original paintings in the near future. This thesis was possible because' of:J the recent acquisition by the U.B.C. Library, of the National Palace and Central Museums Photo-graphic Archives. These photographs were taken in the National 1 Palace Museum, Shih-lin, Taipei, Taiwan in 1965-6, by the University of Michigan, Department of the History of Art in Ann Arbor. The team responsible included: James Cahill , Richard Edwards, Marvin Eisenberg, and Laurence Sickman. This particular work was ;aided-i' by the kindness of the Director of the Museum in Taipei, Dr. Fu-ts'ung Chiang,who informed me of the existence of these three paintings; two of which, are not in the 1 Now called the Chung Shan Museum. 1 U.B.C. archives. The photographs are exceptionally c l e a r . They allow a close inspection and a good opportunity for comparison, which would be hard to match i n any museum. There are coloured s l i d e s of d e t a i l s to go with them, from which Figure 5 i s taken. I should l i k e to thank my advisor Dr. Mary Morehart for help and encouragement f a r above and beyond her l i n e of duty. Also I should l i k e to thank Professor Fo-ch'uan Chang, Professor L i Chi and Wai-lam Lee f o r t h e i r help and advice. They are of course, not responsible f o r the opinions expressed. 1 Hereafter the U.B.C. C o l l e c t i o n of the National Palace and Central Museum Photographic Archives i s referred to by U.B.C. Archives and the o r i g i n a l s of these, as the Palace C o l l e c t i o n i n T a i p e i . CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION I. Copies Copies, imitations, and downright fakes, partial forgeries, over-restored paintings, and copies of copies are enough to put one off the studying of Chinese painting almost before one begins. However, recent study is making considerable headway. Early in the 6th century Hsieh Ho ^ wrote a treatise on painting, the importance of which can hardly be overestimated both for artist-painters and art crit ics . His six principles were based on current ideas but mostly on writers before him. The f irst , the most important, is discussed at the end of Chapter V. The last principle is partly responsible for al l these subsequent copies. It is ^ ^ " ^ ch'uan muli,.hsieh: "transmit models by copying". Thus every Chinese painter was a potential forger. As the Chinese culture has to a certain degree been built on ancestor worship, copying honoured famous masters. It was not always with the intent to deceive. That came later, when connoisseurs developed eclectic tastes and paintings became a commodity. Before this, and even now, copies were not scorned as they are now in the West. In fact a well made copy was 1 Osvald,Siren, The Chinese on the Art of Painting (Schocken Books, N. Y . , 1963), p. 21. 2 something to be proud of, and the greater the number of copies one owned, the greater the boasting: such paintings could, indeed, be of great individual merit, in some cases, even superior to the originals for: . . . they marked not only the students way of learning but also their deference to some old master or school of painting which had served as their guide or inspiration. 1 So we must be thankful for this attitude even though it is caus-ing art historians so much trouble; because without i t , we would undoubtedly know much less about Chinese art. But beside these honest copies^are the many forgeries intended to deceive, hence are done for monetary gain. Forgeries are usually tracings whereby every single element and line is to the last detail, exactly as in the original, or as much as is humanly possible. But as we shall see there are always giveaway, tell-tale signs i f we can but find them. "Free" copies use the same frame-work as the original but within that the artist creates in his own way, thereby improving or otherwise, on the original, as he sees f i t . Between the "free" copy, the variation on a theme, and the forgery, are a l l manner of "transmitters of style" as the Chinese call them. And there has been 1 Ibid., p. 151. 3 so much s k u l l - d u g g e r y going on down through the ages t h a t the genuine works and f o r g e r i e s were f r e e l y m i n g l e d , and people c o u l d not t e l l them a p a r t : " P a i n t i n g by the end of the Ming had f a l l e n i n t o e v i l ways. The most c o r r u p t s c h o o l was t h a t of Chekiang; but even i n Wu-men and Yun-c h i e n the works of great masters l i k e Wen (Cheng-ming) and Shen (Chou) and . . . Tung C h ' i - c h ' a n g were a l l confused and muddled by c o u n t e r f e i t s . Falsehoods begot f u r t h e r f a l s e -hoods, u n t i l f r a u d had spread everywhere". 1 Wu H s i u , e a r l y 19th c e n t u r y , t e l l s a r e v e a l i n g s t o r y of f o r g e r i e s and the sad f a t e of an o r i g i n a l : D u r i n g C h 1 i e n - l u n g " s r e i g n 1736-96 a Suchow s t u d i o bought Kao K ' o - k u n g ' s Morning Clouds  i n S p r i n g f o r 400 p ieces of g o l d . A c e r t a i n Chang bought t s ' e - l i paper and commissioned C h a i Y u n - p ' i n g ( d i e d 1804) to make two copies f o r 10 p ieces of g o l d . Then he had Cheng H s u e h - c h ' i a o (Cheng Chia) copy the i n s c r i p t i o n and s e a l s f o r 10 p ieces of g o l d . The copies were soaked i n c l e a r water and l a i d out f l a t on a l a c q u e r t a b l e . When d r y , . they ; were soaked a g a i n and a g a i n c o n s t a n t l y f o r 3 months. A f t e r t h a t they were t r e a t e d w i t h p a i - c h i to g ive a sur face sheen to the paper . When I examined these copies the i n k had blended i n t o the p a p e r . The g e n e r a l f e e l i n g of the brush 1 Wang Y u a n - c h ' i , Y i i -ch 'uang M a n - p i . i n M e i - s h u . 1/2/1, p . I r . C i t e d by Wen Fong, "The Problem of F o r g e r i e s i n Chinese P a i n t i n g " , A r t i b u s A s i a e XXV (1962), p . 101. 2 Paraphrase of quote from M e i - s h u I I / 6 / 4 , p . l O r . C i t e d by Wen Fong " F o r g e r i e s , " (1962), p . 97. 4 work looked almost exactly like the original, only the ch'i was not so deep and serene and the shen-yun was not so harmoniously blended. One copy was mounted with the brocade borders of the original scroll , along with the original collectors seals of Wang Shih-min 1592-1680, and Kao Shih-ch'i 1645-1704. The original cartouche written by Kao Shih-ch'i was also removed from the original scroll and fixed on the copy. At that time the collector Pi Lung, late 18th century, happened to be sick in bed and was confined to his room. As soon as he was shown the forgery, he was ful l of praise and bought it for 800 pieces of gold . . . The other copy was also fixed up and taken to Chiang-hsi province. It was bought by Governor Ch'en for 500 pieces of gold. The original is s t i l l in Su-chou today. Nobody even asks to look at i t . 5 II. Necessity of Establishing "true" works It is absolutely necessary to establish "true" works in order to establish a history of styles for Chinese painting. Wen Fong says: . . . for the historian of Chinese art, i t amounts to a practical necessity to begin his enquiry with the theoretical crit ical problems. 1 When the identity of original works is obscured by copies and for-geries, liberally decorated with supposed signatures, seals, and dates of the intended master it is very difficult to detect and then 2 interpret the "prime objects", that is,the originals which are basic to the establishing of style changes of history. Therefore, we must attempt to reconstruct the original vital moments of creation by finding the least corrupted - - i f not actually the original for every principal stage of style changes. These stages then, must be formed "into a sequence of related, though clearly 3 differentiated form-categories". Once the style changes are understood then the copies can be dated, weeded out or placed in the sequence according to their merits. 1 Wen Fong, "Chinese Painting, A Statement of Method", Oriental Art, vol. 9 Summer 1963, p. 73. 2 Ibid., p. 73. 3 Ibid., p. 78. In other words, they can take their own place in history i f they so deserve. But in reconstructing a history of styles, we are dealing not only with the complicated processes of artistic creation and recreation of different periods, but also with the equally perplexing problem of crit ical and historical interpretations of 1 al l past periods. This paper is related to such a problem in that it attempts to separate and establish the differences between an original and two copies. We need to see Chinese culture in our terms in order to under-stand i t . And so this Western scientific approach parallels that 2 being applied to China in other fields such as history. This new atmosphere seems to have been generated (partly) by Hu Shih in the 1 9 2 0 ' s when he elevated \E) ^ bai hua to a proper realm for serious study by scholars. Here, by using Western methods, I attempt to separate one original from two copies. In regard to the history of Chinese painting, such a method, put into practice by Professor Wen Fong of Princeton University seems a worthwhile venture. 1 Wen Fong, "Forgeries", (1962), p. 103 (paraphrased). 2 So that much of what went before is now appearing as myth. 7 I I I . Importance of Wang Meng I t i s agreed by most h i s t o r i a n s tha t i n the whole h i s t o r y of Chinese p a i n t i n g a major change took p lace i n the Yuan dynasty w i t h 1 the Four M a s t e r s ; and, t h a t p o s s i b l y t h i s change was s t a r t e d w i t h 2 Chao-Meng-fu i n the e a r l y 13th c e n t u r y . Wang Meng was the grand-3 son of Chao Meng- fu and the youngest of the Four M a s t e r s . So t h u s , because he was taught by h i s g randfa ther he had a l i n k w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the change and t h e n t M i r p r o d u c t i o n saw the f i r m e s t a b l i s h m e n t of t h i s change; tha t i s , t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n formed the 4 br idge from the a r t of the past to the a r t of f u t u r e . B r i e f l y : t h i s a c t u a l change seems to have been the process whereby s o l i d l a r g e 5 p l a s t i c forms were turned i n t o b r u s h - l i n e d e s c r i p t i v e fo rms. Or , the Sung p a i n t e r s used t h e i r eyes whereas the Yuan p a i n t e r s used t h e i r minds . And other e lements , bes ides the shapes of nature were e n t e r i n g 1 These f o u r : Huang Kung-wang, N i Tsan , Wu Chen and Wang Meng. 2 Chu- ts ' ing L i , "Autumn C o l o r s " , A r t i b u s A s i a e , S u p p l . X X I , Ascona , S w i t z e r l a n d 1966. But t h i s i s s t i l l a very c o n t r o v e r s i a l p o i n t . 3 V i c t o r i a Contag, " C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of C a l l i g r a p h y i n the P a i n t i n g of Wang Meng and others of the Southern S c h o o l " , O s t a s i a t i s c h e Z e i t s c h r i f t . ( B e r l i n 1961) , p. 4 8 . 4 That would roughly be the p e r i o d of Mongol occupat ion of the 14th c e n t u r y . 5 Th is i n v o l v e d a change of the up r igh t brush to the s l a n t i n g b r u s h . 8 a Yuan p a i n t e r s work, i n c l u d i n g h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , and i t s r e v e l a t i o n i n the p a i n t i n g . These important Four Masters e x e m p l i f i e d the s p i r i t of the wen jen hua and of the l a t e r Southern School of Tung C h ' i -c h ' a n g . The prime tenets of which were m a i n l y : a b e l i e f i n the thorough i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n of a l l the a r t s : p a i n t i n g , p o e t r y , c a l l i -1 graphy and p h i l o s o p h y as w e l l as the absolute e x c l u s i o n of any h i n t of m a t e r i a l g a i n whatsoever . I n o ther words they p a i n t e d o n l y f o r t h e i r own and f o r each o t h e r ' s p l e a s u r e . H i s f e l l o w r e c l u s e , N i T s a n , says of him i n a colophon " H i s brush i s r e f i n e d and h i s i n k wonderful l i k e those o f Wang H s i - c h i h . H i s h e a r t i s pure l i k e t h a t of Tsung P i n g . . . . There has been no one 2 equal to h im f o r a hundred y e a r s " . He i m i t a t e d L i Sheng who i n t u r n was a f o l l o w e r of Wang Wei and Chang Tsao, but f r e e d h i m s e l f from them,going to nature as the o n l y r e a l master , " h i s h e a r t l e a r n e d from C r e a t i o n i t s e l f " as h i s ideas advanced beyond those of the a n c i e n t w o r t h i e s . So w i t h Wang Meng, 1 V i c t o r i a Contag "Tung C h ' i - c h ' a n g ' s Hua-Ch'an S h i h S u i - P i " , O s t a s i a t i s c h e Z e i t s c h r i f t IX ( B e r l i n 1933) p , 83-97, p . 174-187. 2 0 . S i r e n , Chinese P a i n t i n g . Leading Masters and P r i n c i p l e s . I l l ( 1956-8) , p . 86 c i t i n g Chang C h ' o u . Same quote i n P a n , T ' i e n - s h o u (Chinese Gazet teer) says " f o r f i v e hundred y e a r s , " such are the v a g a r i e s of t r a n s l a t i o n ! because he too l e a r n e d more from C r e a t i o n than from any of the 1 accepted o l d models . Wang Meng i n t r o d u c e d movement to h i s landscapes by the w r i t h i n g u n d u l a t i n g c o m p o s i t i o n and brush s t r o k e s . A l s o he seems to have 2 used t e x t u r e as an i n t e g r a t e d part , of the whole, where i t becomes the a l l - o v e r n e s s of the p a i n t i n g , so u n i f i e d i s each p a r t w i t h the whole . Here he i s noted f o r h i s - ^ ^ l u n g mo;dragon v e i n s which are the unseen c o n n e c t i n g l i n e s which give u n i t y . These are e v i d e n t i n good c a l l i g r a p h y (F igure 7, f i r s t two c h a r a c t e r s from r i g h t and f o u r t h l i n e 3rd and 4th c h a r a c t e r s ) . Thus "the interwoven brush s t r o k e s f u n c t i o n both i n depth as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and as s t r o k e s 3 on the sur face of the paper" and "There i s a rough and ropy e x t e r i o r 4 which one must penetrate to f i n d the substance of h i s a r t " . 1 Kuo J o - h s u , S o p e r ' s e d i t i o n 1951, p . 3 2 . 2 " T e x t u r e " means c o n v e n t i o n a l type-forms to d e s c r i b e a c e r t a i n element as type of l e a f , type of r o o f , type of w a t e r . 3 Sherman L e e , Chinese Landscape P a i n t i n g , 1962, p . 47 . 4 I b i d . , p . 47 . 10 F o r Wang Meng's a r t had substance . He was known f i r s t and foremost as a p a i n t e r of n a t u r e ; he was . . . above a l l a r e a l p a i n t e r who found h i s i n s p i r a t i o n s i n what he saw w i t h h i s eyes and exper ienced through h i s senses . . . H i s a t t e n t i o n was c e n t r e d on the beauty and grandeur of mountains and r i v e r s i n themselves . . . He f e l t the cosmic pulse and made i t comprehensible i n p i c t o r -i a l f o r m . 1 1 0 . S i r e n , Chinese P a i n t i n g I I I (1956-8) , p . 9 0 - 1 . 11 CHAPTER II THE PROBLEM I. D e s c r i p t i o n of P a i n t i n g s There are three p a i n t i n g s i n the N a t i o n a l Palace Museum i n T a i p e i , Taiwan which are almost e x a c t l y the same. They a l l have the i n s c r i p t i o n and s i g n a t u r e of 5- Wang Meng, revered by the Chinese as one of the Four Great Masters of the YUan Dynasty . These p l a t e s are l i s t e d here by the l a b e l s used i n the N a t i o n a l Palace Museum as w e l l as i n the U . B . C . a r c h i v e s . The s i z e s v a r y s l i g h t l y : F i g u r e 1 A i s YV73 s i z e 124.1 cm x 56.7 cm Figure; 2 B i s YV264 s i z e 129.1 cm x 57.6 cm F i g u r e 3 C i s YV265 s i z e 128.5 cm x 54.5 cm 1 F i g u r e 4 D i s NAlOd s i z e 31.2 cm J. x 64.9 cm o C are c a l l e d it ; -<u - i i H u a - . C h ' i z Y U - ^ Y i n . "Fisherman on the F lower S t r e a m " , a l l are done on paper w i t h i n k and s l i g h t 1 These s i z e s were g i v e n by the Museum but D i s o b v i o u s l y mistaken because one can see even wi thout measur ing , t h a t D photograph i s i n w i d t h l e s s than twice i t s h e i g h t , not more. Without knowing e x a c t l y the c o n d i t i o n s of photography the o u t s i d e measurements cannot be compared too a c c u r a t e l y . 2 Romanizat ion should be H u a - h s i y t l - y i n . c o l o u r s . The l i t t l e a l b u m l e a f D i s c a l l e d ^> 3=T / g - ^E- IK ^ ^ I S ] ) Q 1^  ' ^ "flif /? M i n g - h u a h u i t s u i H u a c h ' i s h u wu o r j u s t Hua c i h ' i ghu t^ U. & 3_ ' "—— •—"~ f o r s h o r t : " S t u d i o a t t h e f l o w e r e d s t r e a m . " I t i s a l s o s i g n e d by Wang Meng and done on p a p e r w i t h i n k . I t a p p e a r s t o be a f r e e c o p y o f t h e most l i b e r a l t y p e . A f u l l e r d i s c u s s i o n o f D t a k e s p l a c e l a t e r . ( C h a p t e r I I I ) 13 I I . P r e v i o u s C l a s s i f i c a t i o n s The t h r e e s i m i l a r p a i n t i n g s A, B and C a r e l i s t e d i n the Ku-kung shu-hua l u " A n c i e n t P a l a c e Book P a i n t i n g Records", i n w h i c h t h e r e a r e two s e c t i o n s : one i s the i i " ^ cheng mu f o r i m p o r t -a n t works o f the f i r s t c l a s s where A i s l i s t e d . T h i s r a t i n g s u g g e s t s t h a t A was r e g a r d e d as the o r i g i n a l . The o t h e r s e c t i o n i s the > v f a Pel q c h i e n mu f o r l e s s i m p o r t a n t works where B and C are l i s t e d . L i L i n - t s ' a n o f the N a t i o n a l P a l a c e Museum has r e c e n t l y p u b l i s h e d 1 an a r t i c l e on t h e s e t h r e e p a i n t i n g s whereby he r e v e r s e s the l i s t i n g s o f A and B. He promotes B t o the cheng mu, s u g g e s t i n g i t i s the 2 o r i g i n a l and A he r e l e g a t e s t o the c h i e n mu as a " f r e e " copy o f B. That t h i s case o f the t h r e e p a i n t i n g s has been c o n t r o v e r s i a l f o r some time i s seen by the f a c t t h a t S i r e n i n 1956-8 chose B f o r h i s 3 i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h i s t i t l e g i v i n g i t an a u t h e n t i c r a t i n g i n h i s 4 a n n o t a t e d l i s t . But A was chosen by Dr. James C a h i l l } a n d s t a f f o f the 1 Wang C h i - c h ' i e n and L i L i n - t s ' a n "A S t u d y o f Wang Meng's M a s t e r p i e c e " , N a t i o n a l P a l a c e Museum Q u a r t e r l y V o l . 1, No. 1, O c t o b e r 1966, Wang C h ' i e n i s t h e C C . Wang o f t h e Bamboo S t u d i o i n New Y o r k . 2 I b i d . , p. 24 " . . . t h e n v e r s i o n A c a n e a s i l y be a s s i g n e d t o a p o s i t i o n o f b e i n g a f r e e copy". 3 0. S i r e n , C h i n e s e P a i n t i n g , V o l . V I , p i 111. 4 0. S i r e n , C h i n e s e P a i n t i n g , V o l . V I I p. 138 - (But t h e r e seems t o be some d i s c r e p a n c y between h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i n t h e ^ a n n o t a t e d l i s t and h i s a c t u a l i l l u s t r a t i o n , because he d e s c r i b e s A w h i l e i l l u s t r a t i n g B. U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n to represent the three p a i n t i n g s i n the U . B . C . A r c h i v e s (but w i t h no w r i t t e n statement c o n c e r n i n g them) i n 1965-6. A i s a l s o the choice of the D i r e c t o r of the Palace C o l l e c t i o n i n T a i p e i who s t a t e s " o n l y the one w i t h the C h ' i e n - l u n g 1 poetry on i t i s the o r i g i n a l one" . 1 F u - t s ' u n g C h i a n g , i n a l e t t e r to me August 24, 1966. 15 I I I . Aim and Approach On c a r e f u l e x a m i n a t i o n and comparison of the three p a i n t i n g s I hope to show t h a t the o r i g i n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s the c o r r e c t one, t h a t A i s the most l i k e l y one to be o r i g i n a l . I n t h i s paper I make use of methods p a r t l y d e r i v e d from the same 1 pragmatic a t t i t u d e s which produced c r i m i n o l o g y , those i n d i c a t e d by 2 Wen Fong i n Streams and Mountains Without End and i n h i s "The Problem 3 of F o r g e r i e s " as w e l l as i n h i s "Chinese P a i n t i n g , a Statement of Method" and "The Lohans and a B r i d g e to H e a v e n . " And here I am g r e a t l y a s s i s t e d by the f a c t t h a t one of the a r t i s t s w i t h whom Wen Fong i s g r e a t l y concerned i n "The Problem of F o r g e r i e s " i s Chao Yuan of the same time and same genera l area of Chiang-nan as Wang Meng. Chao Yuan s t a r t e d p a i n t i n g under Chao Meng-fu as a s m a l l 1 By t h i s I mean the western s c i e n t i f i c methods of a s s e m b l i n g , compar-i n g and e l i m i n a t i n g e v i d e n c e . 2 Wen Fong-, Streams and Mountains Without E n d , A s c o n a , S w i t z e r l a n d , 1955. 3 Wen Fong, " F o r g e r i e s " (1962), pp . 95-140. 4 Wen Fong, "Chinese P a i n t i n g , a Statement of Method" O r i e n t a l A r t , (Summer 1963) p . 73-78. 5 Wen Fong, "The Lohans and a B r i d g e to Heaven" F r e e r G a l l e r y of A r t , Occ . P a p e r s , ( P u b l i c a t i o n 4305, S m i t h s o n i a n I n s t i t u t e , Washington, D. C. 1958.) 16 1 boy as d i d Wang Meng. A l s o he d i e d i n 1372. I n o ther words the m i l i e u was the same so the o v e r - a l l s t y l e s and aims might be c o n s i d -ered the same f o r both p a i n t e r s . T h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n v o l v e s two c a t e g o r i e s of e v i d e n c e : the e x t e r n a l , by which I mean the poems and s e a l s , and the i n t e r n a l by which I mean the a c t u a l p a i n t i n g . The e x t e r n a l evidence i n c l u d e s e v e r y t h i n g but the p a i n t i n g i t s e l f : t h a t i s : the paper , i n k , s e a l s , c o l o p h o n s , r e c o r d s , and u s u a l l y i t r e s u l t s i n an o b j e c t i v e but n e c e s s a r i l y negat ive r e s u l t because, as has been shown, the o r i g i n a l a u t h e n t i c colophons w i t h s i g n a t u r e s and s e a l s can be removed from the o r i g i n a l p a i n t i n g s and a p p l i e d to b l a n k paper 2 l a t e r to be p a i n t e d on by o t h e r s . I n c l u d e d i n the i n t e r n a l evidence i s the subject of the p a i n t i n g , i t s mood, communication and means of o b t a i n i n g t h i s . These means a r e : a l l the q u a l i t i e s of i n k t o n e , brush s t r o k e , t e x t u r e , c o m p o s i t i o n , r e c e s s i o n and space , which make up s t y l e s . But the r e s u l t s of these tend to be s u b j e c t i v e depending as they do on knowledge of s t y l e and 1 I s u s p e c t , a l though have been unable to f i n d the e v i d e n c e , t h a t Chao Yuan was a l s o a grandson of Chao Meng-fu , making Wang Meng and Chao Yuan f i r s t c o u s i n s . 2 Wen Fong, " F o r g e r i e s " , (1962) p . 101. one 's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of s u c h . The method I w i l l use here i s e s s e n t i a l l y s tandard p r a c t i c e of Western a r t and h i s t o r y , w i t h a d a p t a t i o n s to Chinese a r t h i s t o r y as r e q u i r e d . Where the i n t e r n a l a n a l y s i s tends to be s u b j e c t i v e , but p o s i t i v e , the e x t e r n a l tends to be o b j e c t i v e , but n e g a t i v e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , combining the two we f i n d t h a t the e x t e r n a l r e s u l t s can o f t e n g r e a t l y s u b s t a n t i a t e the i n t e r n a l c o n c l u s i o n s . 18 CHAPTER I I I CHOICE OF SUBJECT 1 My l a n d and house -a l i t t l e more than t e n a c r e s , I n the thatched cottage -o n l y e i g h t or n ine rooms. Elms and w i l l o w s shade the back verandah, Peach and plum t r e e s i n rows before the h a l l . Hazy and d i m l y seen a v i l l a g e i n the d i s t a n c e . No dust and c o n f u s i o n w i t h i n my doors and c o u r t y a r d ; I n the empty rooms, more than s u f f i c i e n t l e i s u r e . Too l o n g I was h e l d 2 w i t h i n the b a r r e d cage. Nowl am able to r e t u r n aga in to N a t u r e . of the 4th century A . D . d e s c r i b e Wang Meng's landscape - - though " l a n d s c a p e " does not adequately denote the p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e which the p a i n t i n g so s u c c e s s f u l l y g i v e s , e s p e c i a l l y i f we know about the l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s i n the c o l o -phons and about the l i f e of Wang Meng h i m s e l f . 1 T h i s poem i s not on the p a i n t i n g i t s e l f . But I use i t to i n t r o d u c e the s u b j e c t and mood. 2 Barred cage r e f e r s to h i s work as an o f f i c i a l . E s p e c i a l l y does one a p p r e c i a t e t h i s p a i n t i n g , when one r e a l i z e s t h a t Wang Meng at t h i s time was a r e c l u s e . At the time he s igned Huang Ho Shan Chung C h ' i a o Che Wang Meng, the " F u e l Gatherers of Y e l l o w Crane M o u n t a i n ; he had r e t i r e d i n t o the Y e l l o w Crane mountain. I t i s near Hangchow where he escaped from the t e r r i b l e r e b e l l i o n s going on around Lake T ' a i i n Chekiang and K i a n g s u , as p i r a t e s and r e b e l s were f i g h t i n g f o r supremacy. By the time t h i s f i g h t i n g was o v e r , the 88 y e a r ' s o c c u p a t i o n of the Mongol §ccupatioi} had come to an e n d . These t r o u b l e s echoed those of the C h ' i n i n the t h i r d century B . C . which i n s t i g a t e d the more famous w r i t i n g of T 'ao C h ' i e n c a l l e d Peach Blossom S p r i n g . So the s c h o l a r s , unable to h o l d o f f i c e , r e t i r e d , w h i l e the winner Chu Y u a n - c h ' a n g , became the new emperor Hung-wu. He had been a very low grade, uneducated beggar who j o i n e d the Buddhis ts i n order to e a t , then e v e n t u a l l y rose to found the new Ming d y n a s t y . I n e s t a b l i s h i n g h i s r u l e he had to make use of the s c h o l a r b u r e a u c r a t s . He then became s u s p i c i o u s of them (probably q u i t e r i g h t l y ) because h i s low b i r t h made him a t a r g e t of the s c h o l a r s who would communicate w i t h each o t h e r by l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s at the emperor 's expense, f o r he would not know the r e f e r e n c e s . I n 1 C y r i l B i r c h , Anthology of Chinese L i t e r a t u r e , Grove P r e s s , New York (1965), p . 167. h i s hao name to h i s poem, top r i g h t , 01 20 the end most of them were l i q u i d a t e d . Wang Meng was put i n p r i s o n i n 1380 where he d i e d of s t a r v a t i o n f i v e years l a t e r . N e a r l y a l l h i s f r i e n d s came to bloody ends j u s t about t h i s t i m e , i n two great purges when 30,000 of the top s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l s met t h e i r f a t e at the 1 hands of t h i s emperor. The poet Kao C h ' i was cut i n h a l f a l i v e at 2 the age of 39 y e a r s , Chao Yuan, the p a i n t e r , l o s t h i s head and Hsu Pen, another famous p a i n t e r , d i e d i n p r i s o n . Ch 'en Wei-yun, a great f r i e n d of Wang Meng, who sometimes c o l l a b o r a t e d w i t h him i n p a i n t i n g s , was another v i c t i m . Ch 'en had been m i l i t a r y a d v i s o r to the c h i e f r i v a l and deadly enemy of Chu Yuan-ch'ang (Emperor Hung-wu) and t h i s c o u l d have been the reason f o r Wang Meng's f a t e . Or i t c o u l d have been because Wang Meng had once looked at p a i n t i n g s i n the home of the 3 prime m i n i s t e r , Hu Wei-yung, who e vaisouliad' m&t/se the same end. He had become so powerful he v i r t u a l l y c o n t r o l l e d the Ming empire f o r i t s f i r s t ten y e a r s . So to wrest back c o n t r o l , Hung-wu had to get r i d 1 C . C . M . S e r r u y s , The Mongols i n China d u r i n g the Hung-wu P e r i o d , 1368-1398. These were i n 1380 and 1394, p . 279 c i t i n g Ming s h i h 3 0 8 . 4 6 . 2 F . W. Mote, L i f e and Times of Kao C h ' i . T h i s book g ives an e x c e l l e n t d e s c r i p t i o n of these t i m e s , towards the end o f the l i f e of Wang Meng i n t h a t area i n Chiang-nan and Lake T ' a i . 3 The Hu Wei-yung a f f a i r became famous f o r i t s s l a u g h t e r . 21 of them a l l , never a g a i n has the o f f i c e of the prime m i n i s t e r been of any importance i n C h i n a . I t was a b o l i s h e d . The use of t h i s hao name by Wang Meng deepens one 's knowledge of the c i rcumstances under which Wang Meng p a i n t e d h i s p i c t u r e . So the c h o i c e of s u b j e c t has l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s going back to T ' a o C h ' i e n ' s Peach Blossom S o u r c e , because Wang Meng was a r e c l u s e from the same s o r t of s i t u a t i o n as T ' a o C h ' i e n and had named h i s s t u d i o a f t e r T ' a o C h ' i e n ' s famous prose poem. Here the myth d e s c r i b e s as Utopia, a v i l l a g e of happy people cut o f f from the w o r l d . They have l i v e d f o r c e n t u r i e s i n t h i s Peach Blossom V a l l e y o n l y knowing by hearsay of the i r < f a t h e r s w o r l d . There they are d i s c o v e r e d a c c i d e n t a l l y by a f i sherman wandering up a stream i n a l i t t l e b o a t . He comes to a s m a l l h i d d e n cave . L e a v i n g the boat he goes e x p l o r i n g , o n l y to f i n d , a t the end of a l o n g t u n n e l , a l o v e l y v a l l e y of b lossoming peach t r e e s w i t h a v i l l a g e , where he i s welcomed and e n t e r t a i n e d . But once back home, he never c o u l d f i n d the cave a g a i n . T h i s s t o r y has become the s u b j e c t of many poems and p a i n t i n g s no doubt because of the dreams of 1 the s c h o l a r bureaucrats to become r e c l u s e s and r e t i r e i n t o the h i l l s 1 A r e c l u s e i n China i s not someone l i v i n g alone i n a cave but someone who has r e t i r e d to the mountains or elsewhere i n nature and who does not work as an o f f i c i a l . I t i s c a l l e d e r e m i t i s m by F.W. Mote, " C o n f u c i a n E r e m i t i s m i n the Yuan P e r i o d " , Confuc ian P e r s u a s i o n , C a l i f o r n i a : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1960. 22 of n a t u r e , c a l l i n g t h e i r r e t r e a t s Peach Blossom S t u d i o , V a l l e y o r C o t t a g e . The subsequent s c h o l a r r e c l u s e l i k e s to compare h i m s e l f to T 'ao C h ' i e n who r e t i r e d from o f f i c i a l l i f e at 3 3 . L a t e r , i n the 8th c e n t u r y , another p o e t , who was a p a i n t e r t o o , Wang W e i , a l s o r e t i r e d from o f f i c i a l l i f e to Wang Ch'uan v i l l a , where he wrote h i s famous "Peach Blossom Source" and p a i n t e d h i s famous v i l l a . Thus Wang Meng, i n the mid 14th c e n t u r y , does the same t h i n g and i n doing s o , he a l l u d e s to these former r e c l u s e s . S t i l l l a t e r , i n the 18th c e n t u r y S h i h T 'ao w i t h h i s p a i n t i n g , "Peach Blossom S p r i n g " , shows the f isherman s t i l l h o l d i n g h i s o a r , g a z i n g down on the happy, v a l l e y ; b e h i n d , w i t h a mountain d i v i d i n g the scene i s h i s l i t t l e boat beached on the shore w a i t i n g f o r h i m . C a l l e d H u a - c h ' i y i i - y i n , the "Flower Stream Fisherman R e c l u s e " v e r s i o n s A , B and C f i g u r e s 1, 2 and 3 are a l l of the same scene. I t i s l a t e s p r i n g i n the Peach Blossom V a l l e y . The t r e e s are i n f u l l bloom y e t the f r e s h green leaves are a l s o o u t . The mountains c o i l up i n a 1 t w i s t i n g , w r i t h i n g f o r c e to the h i g h knobby crown at the top which almost pushes i t s e l f out of the edge. But down at the bottom under the 1 These are c a l l e d by the Chinese c r i t i c s "alum heads" and are t y p i c a l of Wang Meng. They are d e r i v e d from Chl i - jan the monk of the l a t e 11th c e n t u r y . S i r e n , Chinese P a i n t i n g , V o l . I l l , p . 8 8 . 23 t r e e s c o n f o r t a b l y f l o a t i n g i n h i s l i t t l e boat w i t h h i s w i f e and servant boy i s the a r t i s t f i s h i n g w i t h h i s rod and r e e l , imagine a r e e l before 13501 He i s not c a r i n g i f he catches a f i s h but he cares much f o r h i s peace, h i s l o v e l y surroundings and h i s cozy cottage and i n the v a l l e y behind h i m , h i s d i s t a n t s t u d i o . One can f e e l a l l t h i s i n the mood of the p a i n t i n g ; so magic i s the communication t h a t we know the f i s h e r m a n ' s love f o r h i s l i t t l e hideaway and h i s awe of n a t u r e . T h i s s u b j e c t i s t y p i c a l of the Yuan p e r i o d and s p e c i f i c a l l y of Wang Meng: knobby mountain t o p s , c u r l i n g dragon f o r m a t i o n - l i k e sea monsters , i n a v e r t i c a l w i n d i n g rhythm, l o n g s p i t s of grass p r o t r u d i n g i n t o the w a t e r , the p i c t u r e plane almost f i l l e d . A l l these are t y p i c a l of the 14th c e n t u r y i n t h a t Chiang nan a r e a . The subject i s monumental y e t there are always s m a l l i n t i m a t e p l a c e s to r e s t such as the s m a l l houses one can see i n t o , a few p e o p l e , or j u s t a p h i l o s o p h e r who i s t h i n k i n g as the p a i n t e r i s t h i n k i n g , f o r he i s the p o i n t de  depart and the r a i s o n d ' e t r e . The f a r d i s t a n c e i s u s u a l l y a l l o t t e d to a v e r y s m a l l c o r n e r . A L a t e r V e r s i o n I n l a t e r years as Wang Meng became more famous and t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p a i n t i n g b e t t e r known, the l i t t l e album l e a f D (see F i g u r e 4) was p r o b a b l y commissioned to represent the then renowned Wang Meng and to r e f e r back over the hundreds of years to the Peach Blossom V a l l e y of 24 a n t i q u i t y . T h i s s o r t of r e t r e a t was becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y , the i d e a l of every s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l . I t i s not of the s t y l e of C, who was under the i n f l u e n c e of the manuals, f o r i t i s not belaboured w i t h t e x t u r e and p a t t e r n , r a t h e r , i t i s a f r e s h and spontaneous s k e t c h by a competent p a i n t e r . But i t i s a p a i n t i n g of a p a i n t i n g . I t i s the time when p a i n t i n g was h i g h l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d , when p a i n t i n g c o n s i s t e d of a l l u s i o n s to o ther p a i n t e r s t h e i r s t y l e s and t h e i r m i l i e u . Taking the top h a l f of A as a model , D has f r e e l y moved the mountain tops down, c r e a t e d more d i s t a n t pale-wash mountains , and put the t i l e d house i n toward the c e n t r a l focus a r e a , yet the l e a f l e s s t r e e s are i n the same p o s i t i o n s and same shapes of the Wang Meng scene as a l s o are the contours of the h i l l s and r o c k s . But gone i s the c o i l i n g mountain c o m p o s i t i o n and the p u l s a t i n g f e e l i n g , i n s t e a d we see a p a s t o r a l scene done i n a spontaneous brush l i n e . Where C i s a f ree copy D i s a much f r e e r copy, where C i s so concerned w i t h l i n e , D i s more concerned w i t h the a c t u a l ( p i c t u r e d ) scene as he saw i t from Wang Meng and not obsessed w i t h h i s p a t t e r n books. F i n a l l y , i t i s s igned w i t h the hao of Wang Meng but i n making the f i n a l c h a r a c t e r thus l e f t out one s t r o k e . " 25 CHAPTER IV EXTERNAL EVIDENCE I . Poems Now I must do what a Chinese s c h o l a r would do f i r s t , t h a t i s : examine the paper , i n k , a r t i s t s i n s c r i p t i o n s , s i g n a t u r e and s e a l s , then the colophons and s e a l s of the c o l l e c t o r s , l e a v i n g the p a i n t -i n g i t s e l f u n t i l l a s t . But we must keep i n mind t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r a u t h e n t i c colophons to be found on forged p a i n t i n g s . In the hands of d i s h o n e s t d e a l e r s the o f f i c i a l records of a l l famous p a i n t i n g s h e l p i n the f re e m a n i p u l a t i o n of s e a l s and c a l l i g r a p h y . A l s o my aim must be kept i n mind, which i s : to f i n d not n e c e s s a r i l y the o r i g i n a l but the one most l i k e l y - t o - b e the o r i g i n a l . 1 Poems (4) (3) (1) (1) (3) (1) (2) (2) (2) A B C 1 See Chapter I , p . 3 above. 26 Poems (1) are by Wang Meng, 14th c e n t u r y . Poems (2) are by Shen L i a n g , unknown. Poems (3) are by Shen Meng-1 in , unknown. Poem, (4) i s by C h ' i e n - L u n g , 18th c e n t u r y . The f o l l o w i n g t r a n s l a t i o n s are a l l by P r o f e s s o r L i C h i of the Department of A s i a n S t u d i e s , U . B . C . They are a l l w r i t t e n i n a T ' a n g dynasty verse form c a l l e d - t "= ^ j ^ " T^j: C h i yan I i i s h i h : seven-c h a r a c t e r - r e g u l a t e d v e r s e . A f t e r the f i r s t poem, by Wang Meng, the others r e f e r back to h i s , i n form as w e l l as i n p a r a l l e l i s m u s i n g h i s 1 f i v e rhyming words. Poem (1) on a l l t h r e e , by Wang Meng. West of Y l l - e r h , at the head of the Chai Stream, Peach Flowers on both s i d e s of the f l o w i n g s tream. With Tung-lao I get drunk w i t h thousand-day-drunk-wine. With H s i - s h i h ^we f l o a t e d i n a boat on the f i v e l a k e s . Of the young men who p layed the heroes and k n i g h t s -e r r a n t , who are s t i l l here? The w h i t e - h a i r e d enjoys the freedom of mis ts and waves. From a n c i e n t times g l o r y has proven to be l i k e a dream, I l o o k at the s e a g u l l s w i t h a p leased smi le . ^ T h i s i s addressed to my honourable uncle both the p a i n t i n g and the poem - - s igned by Wang Meng ( u s i n g h i s hao name) 1 These of course d o n ' t show up i n t r a n s l a t i o n . 2 H s i - s h i h i s a beauty from a C h ' u n - c h ' i u myth of 722-481 B . C . 3 David Hawkes, Tu F u , p . 110. I n a n c i e n t Chinese t r a d i t i o n , to be a f r i e n d of the s e a g u l l s i s to be innocent and s i m p l e , a c h i l d of n a t u r e . 27 1 As has been observed by L i L i n - t s ' a n the e i g h t h c h a r a c t e r i n t h i s verse i s t ' a o : peach. This appears w i t h the omit s i g n beside i t "j^}^* i n both B and C, but not i n A , otherwise the poem i s c h a r a c t e r - f o r - c h a r a c t e r i d e n t i c a l i n a l l three c o p i e s . L i L i n - t s ' a n thought t h a t t h i s d u p l i c a t i o n of a mistake i n B and C i n d i c a t e d t h a t C was c o p y i n g from B and because of t h i s , 2 t h e r e f o r e B must be the o r i g i n a l , or e l s e why would C copy a m i s -3 4 take? Moreover he s t a t e s A to be a " f ree copy" of B, presuming ( I suppose) t h a t t h a t freedom a l l o w s f o r A to c o r r e c t B ' s m i s t a k e . I d i f f e r from t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n i n s u s p e c t i n g that B made the f i r s t m i s t a k e , he was " o r i g i n a l " i n the mistake o n l y . I t seems q u i t e l i k e l y to me t h a t i n copying or t y p i n g , or any k i n d of manual work t h a t r e q u i r e s no c r e a t i v e t h i n k i n g t h a t i t i s more p o s s i b l e to make a mistake w h i l e one 's thoughts might be elsewhere than w h i l e one i s 1 Wang C h i ' c h ' i e n and L i L i n - t s ' a n , " A Study of W . M . ' s Masterpiece Hua Y s i Y u - Y i u " , The N a t i o n a l Palace Museum Q u a r t e r l y , No. 1, V o l . 1 (October , 1966). A g a i n t h i s second c h a r a c t e r ^ £ i s romanized yet a d i f f e r e n t way 3 as Y s i i n s t e a d of H s i . 2 T h i s i s i n support of h i s arguments to say B i s the o r i g i n a l . 3 But can we assume t h a t the c o p y i s t s know which was the o r i g i n a l ? Th i s a reasonable assumption but by no means p o s i t i v e . 4 L i L i n - t s ' a n , " A Study of Wang Mengs M a s t e r p i e c e " , (1966), p . 24. 28 a c t u a l l y c r e a t i n g . I n any c a s e , the odds are a g a i n s t the p a i n t e r -poet h i m s e l f making the m i s t a k e . Moreover, i s A l i k e l y to go to a l l t h a t t r o u b l e to forge so e x a c t l y the p a i n t i n g , as we s h a l l see i n Chapter I V , the poems e t c . and then c o r r e c t the mistakes of t h e " o r i g i n a l " here i n the e i g h t h Poem (2) on a l l t h r e e , by Shen L i a n g : A l l day l o n g I drop my rod at the a n c i e n t f e r r y How many people now-a-days understand such p leasure? F o r awhile I s t a y here w i t h the man who p l a n t e d peach t r e e s , My thoughts go back to the boat loaded w i t h m e d i c i n a l herbs of past t i m e . F a c i n g a scene l i k e t h i s I t h i n k of Lu and C h ' i (two a n c i e n t r e c l u s e s ) E n t e r i n g the mountain l e t me f i n d Chao and Y u . (two more a n c i e n t r e c l u s e s ) When I have got a f i s h and bought wine I drimk w i t h my w i f e , I get drunk, I f o r g e t a l l wordly d e s i r e s but make f r i e n d s w i t h the s e a g u l l s . T h i s c o r r e s p o n d i n g poem i s s igned by Shen L i a n g of whom we know n o t h i n g except t h a t he i n d i c a t e s he was a f r i e n d who was there w i t h Wang Meng i n h i s r e t r e a t . Another s t i l l more c o n v i n c i n g mistake i s i n the c o r r e s p o n d i n g poem by Shen L i a n g , ( 2 ) . The seventh c h a r a c t e r , f o u r t h l i n e ^ 1 Lu i s the name of the f i r s t r e c l u s e , a v e r y seldom used word. This i as i t should be and c o r r e c t i n A . But i n both Brand C the ^ has been i n t e r p r e t e d as c h i a o - - horns of an a n i m a l . T h i s l a t t e r i s a commonly used c h a r a c t e r and so i s easy to m i s t a k e , but i t s imply does not f i t i n the poem. L i L i n - t s ' a n says t h i s i s an understandabl c h a r a c t e r ? I do not t h i n k s o . 29 mistake and i f the poet was not a s c h o l a r of l i t e r a t u r e i t would be q u i t e p o s s i b l e . A g a i n , I d i f f e r by s a y i n g t h a t the poet h i m s e l f i s the most l i k e l y one to get i t r i g h t and the c o p y i s t to get i t wrong, f o r one of two r e a s o n s : e i t h e r t h a t of not knowing the l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n to the a n c i e n t r e c l u s e s Lu and C h ' i o r , not knowing the r a r e l y used c h a r a c t e r . So t h i s f a c t does at l e a s t , s t r o n g l y suggest t h a t A has the o r i g i n a l Shen L i a n g poem on i t . And t h i s would a l s o i n d i c a t e : t h a t i n the case of the Shen L i a n g poem both B and C might be c o p i e s , p r o b a b l y one of the o t h e r . Poem (3) i s the same r e g u l a t e d verse o n l y i n the s h o r t form of f o u r l i n e s i n s t e a d of e i g h t c a l l e d £j ch'ueh ch i i : s h o r t v e r s e . I t i s s igned by S h e n - M e n g - l i n : Specks of d i r t everyday w h i r l i n the a i r On the streams the peaks shine p u r p l e or b l u e . I would take a f i s h i n g boat and d e p a r t , But f i r s t seek an o r a c l e from L i n g - f e n g on the peach source s t ream. How can we e x p l a i n the f a c t t h a t t h i s jLs on A , not on B, yet _is_ on C. P o s s i b l y C at some l a t e r time added t h i s poem, even hundreds of years l a t e r . But whenever i t was, i t makes one suspect t h a t C a t 1 L i n g - f e n g i s the p r i e s t who d i v i n e d f o r C h ' u Yuan i n h i s famous poem L i Sao of the 3rd century B . C . and who t o l d him to seek h i s l a d y , f a r a f i e l d and not to be f a i n t h e a r t e d , f o r what woman c o u l d refuse him? I t i s the f i r s t Chinese poem to have i t s author known. 30 t h a t time b e l i e v e d A to be the o r i g i n a l . At the former t i m e , the time of copying the r e s t of the s c r o l l ( p a i n t i n g and colophons) he must have c o p i e d B which does not have t h i s poem. The f o u r t h poem i s by Emperor C h ' i e n Lung (1735-95). T h i s i s a l s o a seven c h a r a c t e r , e i g h t l i n e r e g u l a t e d verse c o r r e s p o n d i n g to Wang Meng's poem: Peach blossoms b o r d e r i n g the stream have opened, There are f a i l e d ' p e t a l s to decorate the c u r r e n t . I t was not t h a t he longed f o r the shun''- t h a t he r e t u r n e d home. I t was because he wanted to h ide frgm the w o r l d t h a t he took a f i s h e r m a n ' s b o a t . A new p i c t u r e d i f f e r i n g from the one g i v e n by P ' e n g - t s ' e , 5 A w i l l t h a t emulates t h a t of Tse:. Y u . I a l s o have p layed w i t h the mis t and water of Yu-erh Ascending the waves I see o n l y s e a g u l l s . 1 Shun i s a water p l a n t . 2 A r e f e r e n c e to an o f f i c i a l who r e t u r n e d home because he longed f o r the s p e c i a l shun and f i s h of h i s home p l a c e . 3 T h i s i s what N i Tsan d i d at the same time as Wang Meng. 4 T ' a o C h ' i e n , another hao, the Chin,:, poet of 4th century A . D . who wrote"Peach Blossom S p r i n g d e s c r i b e d i n Chapter I I I . 5 An a n c i e n t r e c l u s e . 31 I t a l s o corresponds to the Wang Meng poem i n form, images and f i v e of the rhyme endings• So i n d e c i d i n g between A and B, i t seems reasonable to presume t h a t , s i n c e A appears to have the o r i g i n a l Shen L i a n g poem (2) a t 1 l e a s t Shen L i a n g thought A was the o r i g i n a l p a i n t i n g . So s i m i l a r l y d i d Shen Meng-1in poem (3) t h i n k t h a t A was the o r i g i n a l and wrote h i s poem on A and not on B. (Although i t i s on C) A l s o the Ch ' ien-*-Lung Emperor thought A was the o r i g i n a l and wrote h i s poem on i t and not on B or C. At l e a s t a l l seem to have w r i t t e n t h e i r own o r i g i n a l poems on A . So we have the p o e t s , Shen L i a n g , Shen Meng-1in and C h ' i e n l u n g a l l w r i t i n g on A , presumably b e l i e v i n g A to be the o r i g i n a l . And p o s s i b l y l a t e r , C h i m s e l f a l s o b e l i e v e s A to be the o r i g i n a l and copies the Shen M e n g - l i n onto h i s f o r m a t . From an a e s t h e t i c p o i n t of v iew I would choose, of the whole b lock-shape of the three v e r s i o n s of the Shen L i a n g (2) poems, t h a t of A f o r the way i t f i t s n e a t l y i n t o i t s ' space i n the bay, equi-d i s t a n t from the s h o r e l i n e . Even i n the Shen M e n g - l i n (3) the shape Moreover , the poem i n d i c a t e s i t s author was contemporary w i t h Wang Meng, thus i f s o , would be more l i k e l y to know i f i t was the o r i g i n a l . 32 of A i s more p l e a s i n g than C. And i n the Wang Meng (1) poems, t h a t of A , a l s o , f o r the way to l i n e endings go around the v e r y d i s t a n t mountains i n s t e a d of r u n n i n g i n t o them. A seems to be f ree of mistakes w h i l e B'.and C have the m i s t a k e s . Moreover the C h ' i e n - l u n g Emperor (1735-95) who wrote on A , i s more l i k e l y to have known of A ' s a u t h e n t i c i t y because Wang Y t t a n - c h ' i 1 (1642-1715), was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r g a t h e r i n g most of t h i s c o l l e c t i o n f o r Emperor K ' a n g - h s i (1662-1722) whence i t was bequeathed to C h ' i e n l u n g then to h i s son C h i a - c h i n g . This p a i n t e r , Wang Y u a n - c h ' i , c o l l a t o r of the I m p e r i a l C o l l e c t i o n was reputed to be an admirer of Huang Kung-wang and Wang Meng and a l s o known f o r h i s p a i n t i n g s " a f t e r Wang-Meng" which are s igned ~\/)ic fang i n the manner o f : f o l l o w e d by J _ . So one might conclude t h a t Wang Y u a n - c h ' i knew b e t t e r than most subsequent c o l l e c t o r s j u s t which p a i n t i n g s were by the hand of Wang Meng. Moreover t h i s "f^iC. absolves the p a i n t e r from any h i n t of d e c e i t , and t h i s was the honourable way f o r a s c h o l a r to t r a n s m i t the s t y l e of an o l d master . 1 Chinese A r t T r e a s u r e r s . U . S . e x h i b i t i o n , ( S k i r a , 1961-2) , p . 15. 2 See i n the U . B . C . A r c h i v e s numbers CV71 and CV72. T h i s colophon c a l l i g r a p h y seems more t e l l i n g than a s e a l which would seem o n l y to i n d i c a t e ownership . Thus, i n summary, B and C seem to be most a l i k e . That i s , they both have the same mistakes and c o r r e c t i o n s i n two of the poems, hence, i n d i c a t e t h a t one i s a copy of the o t h e r . 34 I I . Sea ls S e a l s on Chinese p a i n t i n g s are i n t e r e s t i n g and sometimes extremely i m p o r t a n t . They can i n d i c a t e the whole h i s t o r y of the p a i n t i n g a f t e r i t leaves the a r t i s t ' s hands. Thus they g ive a h i s t o r y of the chang-i n g f a s h i o n s i n a r t - - the t a s t e s of the c o n n o i s s e u r s . But l i k e colophons i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t a l l of them can be f a l s e ones o r , even 1 t r u e ones on f a l s e p a i n t i n g s . C i s the o n l y one o f these three w i t h the s e a l of Wang Meng, i . e . at the end of Wang Meng's poem..' L i L i n - t s ' a n has p o i n t e d out 2 t h a t the H s i a n g Yuan-pien s e a l s on C are f a l s e . Thus i f one s e a l i s f a l s e i t seems probably t h a t no r e l i a n c e can be p l a c e d on the Wang Meng s e a l . B has at l e a s t e l e v e n s e a l s of H s i a n g Yuan-pien (1525-90) , vfo has a v e r y good r e p u t a t i o n as a c o l l e c t o r of t a s t e , and t h i s i s enough f o r some e x p e r t s to vouch f o r t h i s p a i n t i n g . But wi thout b e i n g an e x p e r t i n s e a l s , I cannot put any f a i t h i n t h i s f a c t , e s p e c i a l l y when the o ther f a c t s are so s t r o n g l y s tacked a g a i n s t B, except t h a t i t , might i n d i c a t e H s i a n g Yuan-pien thought t h i s to be a genuine p a i n t i n g of Wang M e n g ' s . 1 As p o i n t e d out by Wen Fong r e g a r d i n g the true K a o - K ' o - k u n g p a i n t i n g i n F o r g e r i e s . V o l . XXV, (1962), pp . 95-140. 2 L i L i n - t s ' a n , "Study of Wang Meng's m a s t e r p i e c e " , V o l . I , No. I , (1966), p . 23 . 3 5 A has the s e a l s as w e l l as the colophon of C h ' i e n - l u n g w h i l s t a l l three have the s e a l s of C h i a - e h i n g , the Emperor son of C h ' i e n -l u n g . 1 I n c o n c l u s i o n the evidence of the s e a l s on C tend to back up the evidence of the colophons on B and C to i n d i c a t e t h a t C c o u l d have copied B and beforehand B c o u l d have c o p i e d A , i n o t h e r words t h a t A i s the one most l i k e l y to be the o r i g i n a l . But as p o i n t e d out at the b e g i n n i n g , no c o n c l u s i o n s on t h i s e x t e r n a l evidence a l o n e , are r e a l l y p o s s i b l e . Because a l l can be removed from the o r i g i n a l to a f o r g e r y or a l l can be c o p i e d so e x a c t l y t h a t i t i s v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e ye t to d e t e c t - - they can and have been f r e e l y manipulated (see 2 F i g u r e 10) . 1 As L i L i n - t s ' a n i n d i c a t e s : the Wang Meng s e a l i s f a l s e and the H s i a n g Yuan-pien s e a l s are i n the wrong p lace on C. 2 Wen Fong, " F o r g e r i e s " , XXV (1962), F i g u r e 9 . 36 CHAPTER V INTERNAL EVIDENCE L o o k i n g at these p a i n t i n g s ( n e a r l y f o u r feet t a l l ) , one seems to be i n v i t e d i n and made f a m i l i a r w i t h the s u r r o u n d i n g s . F o r i n s t a n c e i n A , by way of the dim and hidden path from the r i g h t behind the b i g peach t r e e s , one i s l e d i n t o the p a i n t i n g through the o r c h a r d and i n t o the gatehouse, or i f one p r e f e r s , he can pass i n f r o n t of and around the houses to the l e f t and then f i n a l l y wind behind the centre mountain peak to reach the s t u d i o i n the middle d i s t a n c e . I n the f a r d i s t a n c e , i n the l a s t bay i s seen a t i n y man f i s h i n g and s t i l l another on the path r e t u r n i n g to h i s t i l e - r o o f house. Or i f v i s i t i n g by boat one can z i g - z a g up the waterway i n the same genera l curve as the mountain r i d g e to the gatehouse where he leaves h i s b o a t . A l t h o u g h a l l three are the same, t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n tends to f i t A more than B and C. Why i s t h i s ? This chapter attempts to f i n d o u t . I t seems to be a case of b e i n g i n v i t e d i n t o the p a i n t i n g so t h a t one f e e l s how the o b j e c t s l o o k from behind at the back even when t h a t p a r t i s not shown i n the p a i n t i n g . F o c u s i n g a t t e n t i o n on the p a i n t i n g i t s e l f , t h a t i s , not on the i n s c r i p t i o n s or s e a l s , I f i n d immediately that A and B are almost i d e n t i c a l ; whereas e x t e r n a l l y B and C were more a l i k e (they have the same mistakes and c o r r e c t i o n s as shown i n Chapter I V ) . I . T r a c i n g s By experiment I found a l l three a c t u a l l y were t r a c i n g s , w i t h the t r a c i n g paper moved ever so s l i g h t l y so as to narrow ( i f B t r a c e d A) or widen ( i f A t r a c e d B) the format . C i s a l s o a t r a c i n g - - i t matches B i f a narrow s t r i p 1/8 i n c h wide i s taken out of Bacross the m i d d l e . I t appears to have been done, accompanied by g r a d u a l movement of the t r a c i n g paper , r a t h e r than one or a number of c a l c u l a t e d movements. T h i s , of c o u r s e , o n l y proves a t r a c i n g i s a t r a c i n g . I t d o e s n ' t say which was a t r a c i n g of which (A from B or B from A) but r i g h t h e r e , a g a i n C becomes suspect because i t has a l o n g e r , narrower format which i s more t y p i c a l of Ming p e r i o d . To conform w i t h t h i s he has had to move i n both the f a r boat and the Shen L i a n g poem. . Whereas i f , i n f a c t , B had t r a c e d C he i s u n l i k e l y to have moved the boat o u t . He i s more l i k e l y to have expanded the t r a c i n g i n the c e n t r e . (see diagrams on t r a c i n g paper , f i g u r e 11) A l t h o u g h the o u t l i n e s and o b j e c t s are so s i m i l a r , on much d i l i g e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n I f i n d they are q u i t e d i f f e r e n t i n t o n e , s t r o k e and genera l aim of the p a i n t e r . 38 I I . Techniques Ink Tone. F i r s t of a l l , c o n s i d e r i n g the i n k t o n e s : l o o k i n g w i t h narrowed e y e s , at a l l three together from a d i s t a n c e , one n o t i c e s t h a t the range of tones v a r y . A i s s o f t e r , q u i e t e r , w h i l e B i s markedly d a r k - l i g h t - d a r k - l i g h t from bottom to t o p . C has the same d a r k - l i g h t p a t t e r n o n l y i t i s more e l a b o r a t e because the dark b l o c k s are f u r t h e r broken up i n t o r i d g e s and r i l l s . There are very few medium or h a l f t o n e s . Whereas A has most ly medium or h a l f t o n e s . These i n s t i g a t e an immediate wish f o r c l o s e r i n s p e c t i o n . The d a r k - l i g h t c o n t r a s t makes of B and C,a d i f f e r e n t composi-t i o n by emphasiz ing the h o r i z o n t a l s , the rows of t r e e s , coming out from the "gj^ shaped c o i l i n g mountain r i d g e s . (See F i g u r e 12) 1 1 T h i s i s w i t h al lowances f o r the b e t t e r c o n d i t i o n of B. 39 Space and R e c e s s i o n . The ungraduated b l a c k and white c o n t r a s t i n B and C l e s s e n s the concept of space (or d i s t a n c e ) . Moreover B and C tend to o v e r p l a y a l l h o r i z o n t a l s as w e l l as the f a r r i g h t mountains . (F igure 12) T h i s s t r a n g e l y d i s t u r b s the peace of the whole p a i n t i n g , and t h i s i s a strange t h i n g to say because h o r i z o n -t a l s are a wel l -known means (today) of making up a p e a c e f u l composi-t i o n . But here i n B and C, they tend to make a p a t t e r n . T h i s p a t t e r n g ives a d e s i g n q u a l i t y which i s o b t r u s i v e , e s p e c i a l l y i n C. ( F i g u r e 3) Th is i n t u r n , produces a l a c k of r e c e s s i o n . Whereas, i n A the h o r i z o n t a l s between the l a n d p o i n t s are underplayed i n comparison w i t h B and C adding to the r e c e s s i o n of space: a q u i e t p e a c e f u l bay, or p l a c e to r e s t the eyes . A l s o the top r i g h t mountains are a great d i s t a n c e away from the bottom curve of mountains f u r t h e r adding to r e c e s s i o n of space . One can r e a l l y f e e l o n e s e l f i n s i d e t h i s composi-t i o n . But i n B and C, the top of the curve and the f a r d i s t a n t mountains are almost as c l o s e to the v iewer as the bottom of the c u r v e . And i n between, the bay i s not so much a space as a t e x t u r e d s u r f a c e . So we have, s e e m i n g l y , a w a l l i n f r o n t of u s . One cannot get i n . Not o n l y i s r e c e s s i o n denied i n the whole of the p a i n t i n g s B and C, but a l s o i n the i n d i v i d u a l e l e m e n t s . 40 Brush S t r o k e . S ince the Sung dynasty and very much so of the Yuan m a s t e r s , the brush s t r o k e r e v e a l s the p a i n t e r ' s mood and temperament. T h i s i s the main tenet of the ~zz_ >^ Wen jen hua , s c h o l a r c l a s s p a i n t i n g s c h o o l , so named by Tung C h ' i - c h ' a n g who took 1 the Four Masters as h i s p r o t o t y p e s . I n t h i s p e r i o d , p e r s o n a l i t y of s t r o k e i s s e n s i t i v e l y balanced w i t h t r u t h to n a t u r e . But l a t e r the pendulum swings to the p e r s o n a l i t y s i d e . So here I t h i n k we can b e g i n to e l i m i n a t e C from our "Case of the Three P a i n t i n g s " : R o o t s : I n the bottom r i g h t hand corner of a l l three p a i n t i n g s are the exposed roots of the o l d peach t r e e s . (See F i g u r e 6 d e t a i l of 2 A ' s r o o t s ) C shows these as white a g a i n s t a dark background. They are not t a c t i l e or i n any sense p l a s t i c but r a t h e r l i k e cutouts pasted on - - f l a t . I n A (a l though damaged) they are t a c t i l e and seem r e a l . There are a l l s o r t s of comings and g o i n g s , i n and out of space , w i t h l i t t l e r o o t s going behind b i g r o o t s , forming deep h o l e s and s h a l l o w p o c k e t s . One can see , here i n A , i n t o the h o l l o w t r u n k behind the r o o t s . The r o o t s i n B a l though they are not as f l a t as C, n e i t h e r are they as consc ious of depth as A . T h i s i s due most ly to c r e a t i v e V i c t o r i a Contag, "Tung Ch ' i - c h 1 ang's Hua Ch 'an S h i h S u i - P i " , p . 2 Only a d e t a i l of A was a v a i l a b l e but B and C can be d i s c e r n e d w i t h a magni fy ing g l a s s . 41 o u t l o o k ; but i n e x e c u t i o n i t i s due to both i n k tone and brush s t r o k e . Rocks: Another f e a t u r e which depends on brush l i n e , i s the rock group across on the l e f t s i d e (See F i g u r e 7, 8 and 9) I n C we have the brush d i s p l a y at the expense of the rocks themselves which h a r d l y l o o k l i k e r o c k s . They r e p r e s e n t the e x e r c i s i n g of a w e l l -p r a c t i c e d s t r o k e which f a i l s ' to convey the r e a l n e s s of the rocks and t h i s i s i n c o n t r a s t to A , (F igure 7 ) . Here i n A , the rocks stand out from the bamboo background, they seem to be r e a l , moss-covered rocks t h a t one c o u l d s i t on or l e a n a g a i n s t . Bamboo: T h i s bamboo coming up from behind the rocks i s i n A a bushy t h i c k e t and i t i s d e f i n i t e l y growing up from behind the r o c k s . But i n B the bamboo does not seem to come up from b e h i n d , but i s f l a t w i t h the rocks and i s p a r t l y the reason these rocks d o n ' t l o o k l i k e r o c k s , i t i s messy, a hodge-podge t h a t b a r e l y passes f o r bamboo! C ' s bamboo goes t o the o ther extreme b e i n g a d e f i n i t e bamboo sample removed from the h o w - t o - d o - i t - b o o k s such as the Mustard Seed Garden 1679-1701. I t i s making use of t e x t u r e d s t r o k e s as a l a t e r time d i d . And w h i l e we are l o o k i n g at t h i s rock we n o t i c e the s m a l l r o c k p o i n t i n g to the r i g h t i n t o the water which i s a l s o coming from behind i n A and not i n B. B i n f a c t does not t e l l us whether i t i s on the same p l a n e , or i n f r o n t . C has o m i t t e d i t e n t i r e l y , (F igures 1, 2 and 3 ) . 42 These f e a t u r e s are the v e r y core of the problem. I t i s the t h i r d dimension which g ives r e a l i t y . As noted by Wen Fong, i t i s a f e a t u r e of the Yuan Dynasty m a s t e r s . I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of an a r t i s t ( p a i n t e r ) not of a c o p y i s t who tends to see the l i n e s a l o n e , wi thout h a v i n g i n h i s mind the whole o b j e c t which these l i n e s merely d e l i n e a t e . Thus he cannot produce J|L chen, r e a l i t y . T h a t c h : S t i l l go ing up the p a i n t i n g we come to the t h a t c h r o o f s of the houses i n the c e n t r e and here a g a i n A i s l i k e B, and C has ' improved on them 1 by d i v i d i n g r o o f s i n t o s e c t i o n s , whereas A and B have a sweep of l i n e s from r i d g e to eaves . ( F i g u r e 13) Behind the houses are t r e e s which r e v e a l a f i n i c k y dtcxodle-type of s h o r t curved 1 s t r o k e c a l l e d " c a l l i g r a p h i c mannerism" by Wen Fong. But i t i s underconscious of the forms i n n a t u r e . Moreover t h i s d i v i d i n g , s e p a r a t i n g and c u r l i n g of s t r o k e i s found almost throughout t h i s C v e r s i o n of the p a i n t i n g . H i s h a n d w r i t i n g i s becoming f a m i l i a r l i k e the person we a l l know who always c u r l s h i s C 's and dots h i s i ' s w i t h c i r c l e s . M o u n t a i n s : Going up, s t i l l f o l l o w i n g the dragon curves i s seen the h a n d w r i t i n g , t y p i c a l of C. He d i v i d e s up a l l the mountain 1 Wen Fong, "A Statement of Method" (1963) p . 76. 43 tops i n t o a s e r i e s of p a r a l l e l r i d g e s going f i r s t down to r i g h t , then to l e f t , then r i g h t a g a i n to the c e n t r e top mountain where A and B have a q u i e t smooth s u r f a c e . Here C c o u l d not r e s i s t s u b d i v i d -i n g the space even more than h i s o ther s e c t i o n s . Here was h i s o p p o r t u n i t y to r e v e a l h i s p e r s o n a l i t y by h i s b r u s h s t r o k e s . But the time t h a t was done was s t i l l some way o f f . Leafy T r e e : Though there are many more aspects i n a s i m i l a r v iew o n l y one more w i l l be d e a l t w i t h here and t h a t i s the l e a f y t r e e whose r o o t s were d i s c u s s e d b e f o r e . I n A there i s a mass of l i g h t -f i l t e r i n g and l i g h t - r e f l e c t i n g f o l i a g e . I t conveys t h a t a l l - o v e r n e s s of dappled sun everyone knows i n summer under t r e e s . B has been unable to i n t e r p r e t t h i s at a l l , i f indeed he understood i t . He t r e a t s i t as a n e g a t i v e element r a t h e r than a p o s i t i v e element - -as a l i g h t m i s t behind the t r e e . C ' s treatment of i t does not give t h a t a l l - o v e r e f f e c t , i t i s n e i t h e r one nor the o t h e r , n e i t h e r a n e g a t i v e nor a p o s i t i v e e lement . T h i s i s j u s t one more example of A p a i n t i n g t rees t h a t are t r e e s and B and C p a i n t i n g t r e e s t h a t are o n l y brush s t r o k e s . i "How can i t (the i n s p i r a t i o n ) be c o p i e d by a l a t e r man" and "the 2 f o r g e r merely catches the dregs and l o s e s the s p i r i t " . 1 Shen T s ' u n g C h ' i e n of the mid-18th Century quoted by Wen Fong i n " F o r g e r i e s " , XXV (1962), p ; 111. (brackets mine) 2 I b i d . 44 I I I . R e s u l t s : C h ' i yun T h i s c r i t i c i s r e f e r r i n g to ^ ch i yun: s p i r i t , harmony, which i s the f i r s t of H s i e h - H o ' s famous s i x p r i n c i p l e s . I t i s the most important and the most d i f f i c u l t to e x p l a i n . The c r i t i c s have not he lped because they f a i l e d to s t r e s s the p h y s i c a l means of a t t a i n i n g t h i s c h ' i . And even more i m p o r t a n t , they have n e g l e c t e d the changing of these p h y s i c a l means down through h i s t o r y . By c h ' i i s meant the pulse of l i f e which g ives r i s e to ^ ^J] shen tung or l i f e -movement . F o r even rocks move or change as moss covers them or as water g r i n d s them to sand, and v o l c a n o e s , o r e a r t h -quakes d i s i n t e g r a t e them. The ' j j ^ c h ' i i n t u r n comes from ^ chen: r e a l , o r genuine and leads to the e e t e r n a l \ ^ Tao: the way, a l l these, the s u b j e c t of c o u n t l e s s c r i t i c i s m s on Chinese p a i n t i n g . But i t seems to me t h a t chen, c h ' i and Tao, are r e a l l y j u s t e x a c t l y those f e a t u r e s here which A h a s , B and C do not have . I t i s i n p a r t the t h i r d dimension which g ives a r e a l i t y or t r u t h to form because of the i l l u s i o n of depth-. . 45 CHAPTER V I CONCLUSION So i t would seem t h a t the p a i n t i n g s t y l e of- C i s t h a t of a l a t e r d a t e . I t s format i s narrower i n r e l a t i o n to i t s h e i g h t . I t shows an o b s e s s i o n w i t h t e x t u r e s t r o k e s , i t denies r e c e s s i o n of space , and most of a l l , s t r o k e has become an end r a t h e r than means to an end - - this e n d ' b e i n g t h a t t h i n g I c a l l ' r e a l i t y ' . Only a f t e r the Yuan p e r i o d d i d brush l i n e become p r i m a r i l y a means of r e v e a l -i n g p e r s o n a l i t y i n s t e a d of a means of r e v e a l i n g forms i n n a t u r e . The d e l i c a t e balance had become u p s e t . This was both caused by and the r e s u l t of the w r i t i n g and p u b l i s h i n g of manuals l i k e the Mustard  Seed Garden of 1679-1701 and i t s predecessor the T r e a t i s e on the P a i n t i n g s and W r i t i n g s of the Ten Bamboo S t u d i o of 1633. The r e s u l t s of w h i c h , were many more mediocre works by l e s s t a l e n t e d p a i n t e r s . . With the preeminance of brush l i n e and the l e s s e n i n g of r e a l i t y , Wang Meng and the masters of h i s time s t i l l were conscious of the iM-l i : the p r i n c i p l e s of n a t u r e . H i s t r e e t r u n k s f o r i n s t a n c e , have a freedom, a l i g h t n e s s of t o u c h , a t w i s t i n g by t h i c k e n i n g and t h i n n i n g of l i n e s g i v i n g roundness, yet s o l i d n e s s w i t h the movement of growth to every t r e e and b r a n c h . F o r Wang Meng was known f i r s t and foremost as a p a i n t e r of n a t u r e . T h i s f e e l i n g i n A , of ' r e a l i t y ' c o n t r i b u t e d to by the t h i r d dimension i s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d to by the s u b t l e i n k t o n e s , the brush 46 l i n e s and the whole concept of the a r t i s t ' s aim i n p a i n t i n g . Each r o c k and t r e e i s r e a l to him and so i s the path he has walked a long so many t i m e s . H i s aim was to get t h i s f e e l i n g onto h i s paper . C probably was p a i n t e d when a d i f f e r e n t set of v i s u a l and s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e s were p r e v a i l i n g . The aim of C was perhaps , to perform the c o m p o s i t i o n of a past master i n h i s own way, j u s t as a p i a n i s t might p l a y Beethoven today e s p e c i a l l y i n the cadenza where he can i m p r o v i s e . He, C, performs w i t h i n the same framework (the t r a c i n g ) but f e e l s f r e e , a c c o r d i n g to C ' s own c u r r e n t s t a n d a r d s , to embroider the c h i e f themes of Wang Meng. The format i s n a r r o w e r , the d i s t a n t boat i s consequent ly moved down and i n , the r o c k p o i n t behind the peach t r e e i s o m i t t e d , making a " b e t t e r " c o m p o s i t i o n . C betokes a p a i n t e r who has as i t were "been doing h i s homework" v i a the manuals at the end of the 17th c e n t u r y . Whereas he denies space, the "Yuan M a s t e r s , who had r a d i c a l l y turned away from the Sung balance and harmony of mountain, water and sky had 1 not gone t h a t f a r . " Moreover , as Wen Fong says about the Chao Yuan copy: "The c o p y i s t was c l e a r l y t r a c i n g a two-dimensional p a t t e r n 2 r a t h e r than c r e a t i n g a s p a t i a l l y moving p i c t u r e . " F a r from b e i n g able 1 Max L o e h r , A r t i b u s A s i a e , V o l . X X I I , (1959) p . 1<51. 2 Wen Fong, " F o r g e r i e s " XXV, (1963), p . 112 as i n same problem re Chao Yuan. 47 to render an i l l u s i o n of roundness these l i n e s are q u i t e devoid of any m o d e l l i n g purpose; they a c t u a l l y f l a t t e n whatever they d e p i c t i n t o two-dimensional d o c o r a t i v e a r e a s . They have become c a l l i g r a p h -1 i c a l l y s e l f - c o n s c i o u s . So we can e l i m i n a t e C as a l a t e r and f ree copy, t h a t i s o f the p a i n t i n g p a r t of t h i s work, where he had no i n t e n t to d e c e i v e . But the e x t e r n a l evidence of C i n d i c a t e s a d e l i b e r a t e attempt to d e c e i v e . B i s a l i t t l e more d i f f i c u l t to separate from A but keeping i n mind the arguments a g a i n s t C, we can see t h a t they apply a l s o to B even i f o n l y to a l e s s e r degree . One reason making t h i s s e p a r a t i o n and g r a d i n g more d i f f i c u l t i s the g r e a t e r s t a t e of p r e s e r v a t i o n of B. A appears to be r a t h e r beaten up. The sur face seems as i f sand papered and the s t r o k e s not as c r y s t a l c l e a r as i n the others ( i t c o u l d be a r e s u l t of age and constant v i e w i n g o r r e - m o u n t i n g . But n o t h i n g can e n t i r e l y mask t h a t marve l lous s c u l p t u r e - l i k e q u a l i t y to every i t e m , and though s c u l p t u r a l , not heavy but l i g h t and f u l l of l i f e . The b l a c k tones i n the top h a l f seem to bear no r e l a t i o n to the r e s t of the p a i n t i n g . I t would seem t h i s may be due to r e t o u c h i n g . (Note i n F i g u r e 1, a few s m a l l dots down the c e n t r e of the bottom h a l f , they are so v e r y b l a c k as to 1 I b i d . , p . 107. 48 i n d i c a t e r e t o u c h i n g a l s o . They have not aged w i t h the r e s t of the p a i n t i n g . ) T a k i n g e v e r y t h i n g i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , the i n t e r n a l , p o s i t i v e e v i d e n c e , supported by the e x t e r n a l but negat ive e v i d e n c e , I conclude t h a t of the three p a i n t i n g s A , B, and C, t h a t A i s the " l e a s t 1 c o r r u p t e d - - i f not a c t u a l l y the o r i g i n a l . " A i s c l o s e s t to what i s known as the s t y l e of Wang Meng and can take i t s p l a c e , necessary f o r the purpose "of e s t a b l i s h i n g s t y l e changes o f h i s t o r y . " A can be taken as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Wang Meng's s t y l e . A belongs i n the j j § flheng mu. The evidence suggests B to be a f o r g e r y but i s so c l o s e a f o r g e r y , i n f a c t the two are so c l o s e i n s t y l e , c o m p o s i t i o n and genera l type of brush work (the d i f f e r e n c e i s o n l y a h a i r ' s breadth) that d i f f e r e n t -i a t i o n f o r our purpose i s not r e a l l y n e c e s s a r y . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the i n t e r n a l but p o s i t i v e evidence i s more i n favour of A as the p r o t o -type of B than v i c e v e r s a . F u r t h e r t h a t the c o n t r o v e r s i e s over A ' s a u t h e n t i c i t y may have been due to probable r e t o u c h i n g i n the top h a l f , whereas B i s i n a much b e t t e r s t a t e of p r e s e r v a t i o n . F i n a l l y , C can be r u l e d out as a l a t e r , " f r e e " copy, a l though the colophons are not f r e e . They seem to be an exact f o r g e r y of B ' s colophons complete w i t h B ' s m i s t a k e s . 1 See Chapter 1, p . 16. E l i m i n a t i n g C i s a b e g i n n i n g . F u r t h e r steps would be to study o t h e r p a i r s i n the Palace C o l l e c t i o n i n the same w a y a t o g e t h e r w i t h a c t u a l work on the o r i g i n a l s u n t i l a corpus of the most a u t h e n t i c work: of Wang Meng can be b u i l t up to take i t s p l a c e as a "prime o b j e c t . " 50 BIBLIOGRAPHY B i r c h , C y r i l ( e d . ) . Anthology of Chinese L i t e r a t u r e . New Y o r k : Grove P r e s s , 1965. C a h i l l , James. Chinese P a i n t i n g . S w i t z e r l a n d j S k i r a , 1960. Chinese N a t i o n a l Palace Museum, Chinese N a t i o n a l C e n t r a l Museum. Chinese A r t T r e a s u r e r s ( T r a v e l l i n g e x h i b i t i o n i n U . S . by Gov ' t of R e p u b l i c of China) T a i c h u n g , C h i n a : S k i r a , 1961-62. Contag, V i c t o r i a . " S c h r i f t c h a r a k t e r i s t i k e n i n der M a l e r a i , d a r g e s t e l l t an B i l d e r n Wang Meng's und anderer M a l e r der S u d s c h u l e " ( C h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s of C a l l i g r a p h y i n the P a i n t i n g of Wang Meng and Others of the Southern School) O s t a s i a t i s c h e Z e i t s c h r i f t , B e r l i n : 1941. pp . 4 6 - 6 1 . ( T r a n s l a t e d by J . Delord) Contag, V i c t o r i a . "Tung C h ' i - c h ' a n g ' s Hua-Ch'an S h i h S u i - P i und das Hua-Shuo des Mo S h i h - l u n g . " O s t a s i a t i s c h e Z e i t s c h r i f t , IX (May, 1933) pp . 83-97, ( O c t . , 1933) pp . 174-187. ( T r a n s l a t e d by J . De lord) Contag , V i c t o r i a - a n d Wang, C h ' i - c h ' i e n . S e a l s of Chinese P a i n t e r s  and C o l l e c t o r s of the Ming and C h ' i n g P e r i o d s . Hong Kong U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , r e v . e d . , 1966. Edwards, R i c h a r d and o t h e r s . The P a i n t i n g of T a o - C h i , Catalogue of an E x h i b i t i o n August-September, 1967, at U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n . New Haven: E a s t e r n P r e s s , 1967. Fong, Wen. "Chinese P a i n t i n g , a Statement of M e t h o d , " O r i e n t a l A r t , I X , (Summer, 1963), p p . 73-78. F o n g , Wen. The Lohans and a B r i d g e to Heaven. F r e e r G a l l e r y of A r t O c c a s i o n a l P a p e r s , p u b l . 4305, Washington, D. C : S m i t h s o n i a n I n s t i t u t e , 1958. Fong, Wen. "The Problem of F o r g e r i e s i n Chinese P a i n t i n g , " A r t i b u s  A s i a e XXV, (1962), pp. 95-140. Fong, Wen and Sherman E . L e e . Streams and Mountains Without End. S w i t z e r l a n d : Ascona , 1955. 51 Hawkes, D a v i d . Tu F u . O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n , 1967. Kuo J o - H s U . Exper iences i n P a i n t i n g . T r a n s l a t e d and annotated by A . C . Soper . (American C o u n c i l of Learned S o c i e t i e s S t u d i e s i n Chinese and r e l a t i v e c i v i l i z a t i o n s . No. 6 ) . Washington, 1951. Lee , Sherman E . Chinese Landscape P a i n t i n g . C l e v e l a n d Museum of A r t , New Y o r k , 1954 ( r e v i s e d 1962) . L i , C h i . "The Changing Concept of the Recluse i n Chinese L i t e r a t u r e . " Harvard J o u r n a l of A s i a t i c S t u d i e s . V o l . 24. Cambridge, M a s s . : Harvard Yenching I n s t i t u t e , 1962-63. L i , C h u - t s ' i n g . Autumn C o l o r s on the C h ' i a o and Hua M o u n t a i n s . A r t i b u s A s i a e Supplement X X I . S w i t z e r l a n d : Ascona , 1966. L i , L i n - t s ' a n . "A New Look at the P a i n t i n g s of the Yuan D y n a s t y . " N a t i o n a l Pa lace Museum B u l l e t i n . T a i p e i , Taiwan. V o l . I I , No. 5 . (November-December, 1967) L i , L i n - t s ' a n , and Wang, C h i - c h ' i e n . "A Study of Wang Meng's Master-p i e c e H u a - Y s i Y U - Y i n . " The N a t i o n a l Palace Museum Q u a r t e r l y . V o l . 1. No. 1. T a i p e i , Taiwan. ( J u l y , 1966) L o e h r , Max. "Some Fundamental Issues i n the H i s t o r y of Chinese P a i n t i n g . " J o u r n a l of A e s t h e t i c s XXIV No. 1, p a r t 1, ( F a l l , 1965), pp . 37-43. L o e h r , Max. "A Landscape A t t r i b u t e d to Wen Chen-ming." A r t i b u s Asiae X X I I (1959) pp. 143-151. Mote , F . W. The Poet Kao C h ' i 1336-1374. P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962. Mote, F . W. " C o n f u c i a n E r e m i t i s m i n the Yuan P e r i o d . " Confuc ian P e r s u a s i o n , A r t h u r F . Wright ( e d . ) . C a l i f o r n i a : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1960. P ' a n , T' i e n - s h o u ^ ^ l ? "Huang Kung-wang yd Wang Meng" (Gazet teer i n C h i n e s e ) . Shanghai , 1958. Rowley, George. P r i n c i p l e s of Chinese P a i n t i n g . P r i n c e t o n , 1959. 52 S e r r u y s , C . C . M . The Mongols i n China d u r i n g the Hung-wu P e r i o d  1368-1398, L ' l n s t i t u t Beige des Hautes Etudes C h i n o i s e s Melanges C h i n o i s e t Bouddhiques, B r u x e l l e s : Imprimeria S a i n t e -C a t h e r i n e , S . A . J u i l l e t , 1959. Sickman, Laurence ( e d . ) . Chinese C a l l i g r a p h y and P a i n t i n g i n the  C o l l e c t i o n of John M. C r a w f o r d , J r . New Y o r k , 1962. S i r e n , O s v a l d . Chinese P a i n t i n g , Leading Masters and P r i n c i p l e s . 7 v o l s . , London: Lund Humphries , 1956-58. S i r e n , O s v a l d . The C h i n e s e , on the A r t of P a i n t i n g , T r a n s l a t i o n s  and Comments. New Y o r k : Schocken, 1936 ( r e v i s e d 1963). S u l l i v a n , M i c h a e l . "The H e r i t a g e of Chinese A r t . " The Legacy of  C h i n a . E d i t e d by Dawson, Raymond. O x f o r d : Clarendon P r e s s , 1964. Taiwan. N a t i o n a l Palace Museum. N a t i o n a l Palace and C e n t r a l Museum  Photographic A r c h i v e s . Photographed by Department of H i s t o r y of A r t , U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n , 1965-66. Mr & j . 4$-'% * ^ & Yi. d 5 * * * * % U £} 5 *f i# | F i g u r e 4 D,NA10d. " S t u d i o at the F lower Stream" by Wang Meng ("Free copy") F i g u r e 5 A ( d e t a i l of lower l e f t ^ ' •,>" - v l ^ ", > r . . s ide of A) k, 2S> v . V I F i g u r e 10 I n s c r i p t i o n and s e a l s by Emperor C h ' i e n - l u n g ( " O r i g i n a l and Copy") F i g u r e 12 Composi t ion of A , B and C. 

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