Boats Running the Qiantang River Bore Near Hangzhou
Boats Running the Qiantang River Bore Near Hangzhou

Boats Running the Qiantang River Bore Near Hangzhou


Artist
Shanfang Zhuren (Chinese, active late 18th-mid 19th century)
Date
Dated 1722 or 1832
Medium
ink and pigment on paper, scroll
Dimensions
Work : 8 ft. 11 in. x 41 in. x 1 5/8 in. (2.7 m x 1 m x 4.13 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Risa and Chris Engle in honor of Mayia and Leah
Object Number
2016.32.11

Label
The daily tide of the East China Sea produces a swell of water that flows up the Qiantang River creating a rapids-like effect. Called a tidal bore, it has been a source of inspiration for many Chinese scholars and artists over the centuries. Shanfang Zhuren, who most likely studied painting, calligraphy, and poetry, inscribed a four line poem on this painting that he excerpted from a longer eight line Tang Dynasty (618-907) poem called, Looking for the Daoist Recluse Chang of Nanqi. Shortening a famous poem for a painting like this is not uncommon. However, Shanfang Zhuren rather unusually inscribed the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth lines of the poem, indicating that he may have written it from memory. The poem reads:

All along the road I pass places you have visited,
Fragrant grasses obstruct your idle door.
After the rains pass, I gaze upon the beauty of the pines,
Following the mountains, I reach the water’s source.
 

Object Type
Painting
Academic Themes
Literary Connections