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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Autumn Landscape
Date: Qing dynasty, 1618
Medium: Hanging scroll: ink and colors on silk
Dimensions: Image: 46 x 13 1/2 inches (116.8 x 34.3 cm)
Credit Line: George and Mary Rockwell Collection
Object Number: 64.1051
Label Text: Two men are shown sitting in conversation in a thatched-roof open pavilion that is perched on pilings set into the riverbank. In an enjoining pavilion two servants are in attendance. In the foreground is a rustic fence and a gate left open to welcome the next visitor. Described here is the perfect idyllic retreat, a place isolated from the clamor of ordinary life, and fit for the quiet contemplation of nature; the perfect life, as defined by the gentlemen-scholars of China. When Sheng Maoye painted this hanging scroll, the region of Suzhou was no longer the vital center of intellectual activity that it had been for more than a century. Thus there is an air of nostalgia in Sheng's treatment of the scene: a soft enveloping mist gently obscures the distant mountains, and the muted autumnal colors add to the feeling of past glories kept alive. The mood is reinforced by the poem Sheng has added: "In front of the gate, falling leaves float on autumn waters/ Outside the fence, the mynah bird brings forth the setting sun." (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.