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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Wen Zhengming 文徵明, Chinese (1470 - 1559)
Landscape with Poems
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 詩畫合璧卷
Paintings with Calligraphy
Work Type
handscroll, painting with calligraphy
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Handscroll; the painting in ink and colors on silk, with signature of the artist reading "Jiajing gengyin qiyue siri; Zhengming xie", and with two seals of the artist reading "Zheng" and "Ming"; the calligraphy in ink on paper, with signature of the artist reading "Zhengming", and with two seals of the artist reading "Wen Zheng Ming Yin" and "Heng Shan".
painting: H. 28 x W. 211.1 cm (11 x 83 1/8 in.)
poem: H. 25.1 x W. 115.6 cm (9 7/8 x 45 1/2 in.)
mounting: H. 34.2 cm (13 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: The signature on the painting reads:: "Jiajing gengyin qiyue siri Zhengming xie" (i.e. the painting is dated to the fourth day of the seventh month of 1530)
  • seal: Two seals of the artist on the painting proper, square, red, relief, immediately following the signature, one seal immediately below the other, as follows:: "Zheng" and "Ming"
  • inscription: The signature on the calligraphy reads:: "Zhengming"
  • inscription: The calligraphy is dated to year:: "xinmao" (i.e. the calligraphy is dated to 1531)
  • seal: Seal of the artist following the signature, square, red, intaglio: : "Wen Zheng Ming Yin"
  • seal: Seal of the artist following the signature, square, red, relief:: "Heng Shan"
  • inscription: A traditional, wooden storage box accompanies the scroll. Written in archaic script, the label on the box reads: "Wen Zhengming shi shu he bi"
  • inscription: A traditional, wooden storage box accompanies the scroll. A handwritten note attached to the end of the box reads:: "zi wei xinmao", indicating the 1531 date of the calligraphy.


Recorded Ownership History
[Through?], likely Beijing, sold; to Weng Xincun (1791-1862), by ineritance; to Weng Tonghe (1830-1904), by bequest; to Weng Zhenghan, by bequest; to Weng Ansun, by bequest; to Weng Zhilan (1883-1919), by bequest; to Weng Wan-go H.C. Weng (born 1918), 1919, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2010.

NOTE: The Weng-Family collection was assembled mainly by Weng Tonghe (1830-1904), though Weng Tonghe acquired a few works by inheritance from his father, Weng Xincun (1791-1862). The majority of the works in the Weng-Family collection were acquired during Weng Tonghe's years of service in Beijing in the mid- to late nineteenth century. This scroll by Wen Zhengming likely was acquired in Beijing at that time. Thus, the probable direct line of provenance for this scroll is as follows:

Possibly collected by Weng Xincun (1791-1862)
Owned by Weng Tonghe (1830-1904); possibly acquired by inheritance from Weng Xincun, likely acquired by purchase in Beijing
Weng Tonghe (1830-1904) by bequest to Weng Zhenghan
Weng Zhenghan by bequest to Weng Ansun
Weng Ansun by bequest to Weng Zhilan (1883-1919)
Weng Zhilan by bequest to Weng Wan-go H.C. Weng (born 1918); thus, Wan-go H.C. Weng, the donor to the H/AM, acquired the scroll by inheritance in 1919, just a year after his birth. Wan-go H.C. Weng brought the Weng-Family collection, including this scroll from China to the United States late in 1948.

The Weng-Collection inventory number is A-22.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Wan-go H. C. Weng in memory of Virginia Dzung Weng
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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This long handscroll comprises a four-character frontispiece, a landscape painted in ink and color on silk, and a poem written in ink on paper in running script ("xingshu"). Both the painting and poem are signed "Zhengming", indicating that both works were created by the celebrated Ming-dynasty literati painter Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). Executed in the so-called "blue-green" manner (an archaistic mode of painting that evokes the vibrant malachite-blue and azurite-green mineral pigments used by early Chinese painters to color natural scenery), the painting depicts several figures--probably scholars and servants, based on the dress and accoutrements carried--positioned alone or in pairs at various points in the landscape. Figures are shown meandering along mountain a paths, gazing at a waterfall or across calm waters, or quietly meditating while floating on a skiff. The poem that follows the painting was written a year later than the painting, but it makes elegant reference to the landscape imagery that precedes it.

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at