UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

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


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 yü-yin. 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 standard 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 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.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.