Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Tai Xiangzhou (born 1968)
Summer Mountains after Rain
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 夏山過雨
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
dated to 2011
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Beijing
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Horizontal wall scroll; ink on silk; with artist signature reading "Xiangzhou"; with square, red, intaglio artist seal reading "Xiang Zhou"
painting proper: H. 45.4 x W. 297.2 cm (17 7/8 x 117 in.)
frame: H. 75 x W. 344 cm (29 1/2 x 135 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Lower left corner, the last five characters in the column at the left edge: artist dated inscription reading 辛卯祥洲制 xinmao Xiangzhou zhi , which can be translated as “…done [by] Xiangzhou [in the] xinmao [year]” Note that the xinmao year corresponds to 2011 in the Gregorian calendar
  • seal: Lower left corner, immediately following the signature, square, red, intaglioseal impression: 祥洲 "Xiang Zhou"
Tai Xiangzhou, Beijing (2011), sold; to Conor C. Mahony, New York (2011-2012), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2012.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Anonymous gift in honor of the retirement of Robert D. Mowry
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Painted in ink on silk, this long, rectangular wall scroll depicts a summer landscape after rain. The painting, which occupies roughly four-fifths of the silk ground, is followed by the artist’s long inscription in standard-script characters (kaishu), which occupies the remaining one fifth of the silk ground. Clinging closely to the picture plane, the landscape, which reads from right to left, in traditional Chinese fashion, includes foreground hillocks and a wall of background mountains, the two separated by a mist-enshrouded valley. The scene opens with a tree-covered hillock; a path, or small bridge, is visible in the cleft that divides the hillock into two; a small waterfall tumbles down the face of the hillock’s larger segment. Distance and obscuring mists reduce the distant mountains to sheer cliffs and overlapping planes that recall those of the monumental mountain in the quintessential Northern Song (960–1279) landscape painting Travelers among Mountains and Streams by Fan Kuan (fl. 990–1020), now in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Towering pines grow in the space between the first hillock and the long second one; that space also affords a view of the base of the distant mountains and also of the stream that flows through the valley that separates foreground and background elements. Set on a distant hill at the base of the tall, background mountains, a cluster of buildings—perhaps a temple, an estate, or even a village—is faintly visible through the mists and above those pines that rise near the right end of the second foreground hillock. Farther to the left, a mountain rises from the center of the second hillock, its form and “moss dots” echoing those of the distant mountains, thus linking foreground and background and unifying the composition. A gap between the left edge of the second hillock and the foreground mountain at the composition’s left edge permits a view of the waterfall that tumbles down the side of a distant mountain and that is perhaps the source of the river that flows through the valley. Just as the path, or small bridge, at the beginning of the painting invites the viewer to enter the composition, the tall mountains at the end, which recede from foreground to background, bring the composition to a close. The artist’s long inscription follows the painting and is written on the same stretch of silk as the painting itself. Comprising 1072 characters written in standard script (kaishu), the inscription is arranged in thirty seven columns of twenty nine characters each (except for the last column—i.e., the column at the far left—which includes just twenty eight characters, the twenty ninth space being left for the artist’s seal). The artist’s dated signature comprises the last five characters of the inscription and reads "xinmao Xiangzhou zhi", which can be translated as “…done [by] Xiangzhou [in the] xinmao [year].” Note that the xingmao year corresponds to 2011 in the Gregorian calendar. The artist’s square, red, intaglio seal impression reading "Xiang Zhou" appears in the lower left corner of the work, immediately following the artist’s signature. The painting was silk-matted in Beijing; it was framed in New York, following the frame style that The Chinese Porcelain Company uses for Tai Xiangzhou’s works, The Chinese Porcelain Company being the New York gallery that represents Tai Xiangzhou in the U.S.

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