Art/ Collection/ Art Object

元/明 吳伯理 龍松圖 軸
Dragon Pine

Wu Boli (Chinese, active late 14th–early 15th century)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
ca. 1400
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 48 x 13 1/4 in. (121.9 x 33.7 cm) Overall with mounting: 100 x 18 5/8 in. (254 x 47.3 cm) Overall with knobs: 100 x 21 in. (254 x 53.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward Elliott Family Collection, Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1984
Accession Number:
Not on view
Wu Boli, a Daoist priest at the Shangqing ("Upper Purity") Temple on Dragon Tiger Mountain, Jiangxi Province, was a close folower of Fang Congyi (ca. 1301–ca. 1392). Dragon Pine was painted for Zhang Yuchu, the forty-third Daoist "pope" of the Orthodox Unity sect, and bears his appreciative colophon.

This animated pine recalls an account by the tenth-century hermit-painter Jing Hao that describes "a gigantic pine tree, its aged bark overgrown with lichen, its winged scales seeming to ride in the air. Its stature is like that of a coiling dragon trying to reach the Milky Way." For Jing Hao, as for later artists, the pine signified "the moral character of the virtuous man." Here, the tree may also represent the Daoist sage, or "perfected being." According to Daoist geomantic beliefs, vital energies collect at the base of a mountain slope along the edge of a stream-precisely the location of the pine in Wu Boli's painting.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription or signature

Artist’s seal

Longhu Shanqiao Wu Chaoyun tushu yin 龍虎山樵吳巢雲圖書印


Zhang Yuchu 張宇初 (1361–1410) , 5 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

無爲 [印]: 耆山囝囗、四十三代天師

Label strip

Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983), 1 column in semi-cursive/standard script, undated; 1 seal:

宋人巨然《流水松風圖》真跡,第一無上希有,仁濤道兄寶藏。大千張爰題。[印]: 張爰

Collectors’ seals

Song emperor Gaozong 宋高宗 (r. 1127–1162)
Shaoxing 紹興 (spurious)

Other spurious Song seals
Neidian mishu zhi yin 内殿祕書之印
1 illegible partial seal [一殘印不辨]

Chen Rentao 陳仁濤 (active mid-20th c.)
Jingui baocang 金匱寳藏

Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983)
Dafeng Tang gongyang 大風堂供養
Cang zhi Daqian 藏之大千
Xinyan Lou 昕晏樓
Jichou yihou suode 己丑以後所得
Related Objects

Cloudy Mountains

Artist: Fang Congyi (Chinese, ca. 1301–after 1378) Date: ca. 1360–70 Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 1973.121.4 On view in:Not on view

Emperor Xuanzong's Flight to Shu

Date: mid-12th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk Accession: 41.138 On view in:Gallery 210

White-Robed Guanyin

Date: late 14th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 1982.3.3 On view in:Gallery 213

Still life with crabs and fish

Artist: Yi Yong-u (artist name: Mungno) (Korean, 1902–1952) Date: probably 1940s Medium: Pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on paper Accession: 2005.24a, b On view in:Gallery 233

Bodhidharma crossing the Yangzi River on a reed

Artist: Li Yaofu (Chinese, active ca. 1300) Date: before 1317 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 1982.1.2 On view in:Gallery 213