Exhibitions/ Art Object
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明 杜堇 伏生授經圖 軸
The Scholar Fu Sheng Transmitting the Book of Documents

Artist:
Du Jin (Chinese, active ca. 1465–1509)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
15th–mid-16th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 57 7/8 × 41 1/8 in. (147 × 104.5 cm) Overall with mounting: 9 ft. 10 3/4 in. × 50 1/4 in. (301.6 × 127.6 cm) Overall with knobs: 9 ft. 10 3/4 in. × 53 in. (301.6 × 134.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.117.2
Not on view
In his greatest act of infamy, the first emperor of Qin (Qin Shihuangdi) ruthlessly burned books and buried scholars alive to eliminate opposition. When the Han dynasty was established in 206 B.C., a program to reconstruct texts began. Fu Sheng retrieved a copy of the Book of Documents that he had hidden and spent the remainder of his days lecturing on it. Here Fu Sheng is shown discoursing on the text with the official Shao Zuo, who was sent by the emperor. Fu Sheng’s daughter, Fu Nu, seated beside him, was a scholar in her own right and aided by translating their local dialect into one familiar to the scribe.

Du Jin was trained as a scholar but became a professional painter after failing the jinshi civil-service examination. He cultivated a circle of patrons and literati friends—including the artists Tang Yin and Shen Zhou—in Beijing, where he moved, as well as in Nanjing and Suzhou. Through these contacts Du Jin played a significant role in the development of a local professional painting style in Suzhou that was basically a refined version of the high academic style of the imperial court. Although this painting no longer bears a signature, it is a classic example of Du Jin’s polished academic manner.
#7500. The Scholar Fu Sheng Transmitting the Book of Documents
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For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature or seal
Douglas Dillon , New York (until 1991; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Imperial Painting of the Ming Dynasty: The Zhe School," March 10, 1993–May 9, 1993.

Dallas Museum of Art. "Imperial Painting of the Ming Dynasty: The Zhe School," June 6, 1993–August 1, 1993.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Chinese Galleries: An Inaugural Installation," 1997.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Scholars' Rocks: Gardens, Studios, and Paintings," February 1, 2000–August 20, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Douglas Dillon Legacy: Chinese Painting for the Metropolitan Museum," March 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Anatomy of a Masterpiece: How to Read Chinese Paintings," March 1, 2008–August 10, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance," January 23, 2009–September 13, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats," August 18, 2012–January 6, 2013.

London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700–1900," October 26, 2013–January 19, 2014.

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