Zhou Wenju / Ladies of the Court / 1100-1140Zhou Wenju
Ladies of the Court

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Creator Name: Zhou Wenju
Creator Qualifier: after a design by
Creator Nationality: Chinese
Creator Role: Artist
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Zhou Wenju
Title: Ladies of the Court
Title Type: Primary
View: Detail
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1140
Creation Date: 1100-1140
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: handscroll, ink and color on silk
Dimensions: Overall: 28.3cm x 168.5cm
Inscriptions: 1 colophon and 13 seals: 1 colophon and 1 seal of Chang Ch'eng (12th c.); 12 seals unidentified.Colophon by Chang Ch'eng:[This is] Chou Wen-chü's picture In the Palace. Women and children are numbered eighty with a single man. All are drawn to life, but these do not include things such as the cosmetic equipment, musical instruments, basins, pots, fans, chairs, mattresses, parakeets, dogs, and a butterfly. Wen-chü was a native of Chü-jung. He was a painter-in-attendance in the Hanlin Academy in the Southern T'ang Dynasty. His paintings of genteel ladies are close to Chou Fang in style, with greater delicacy and beauty. Once he painted a picture of the "southern villa" for the last emperor of Southern T'ang which was considered a supreme masterpiece of the time. Later on, the painting was presented to the court and was ordered to be kept in the Imperial Library. The picture In the Palace is said to be a genuine work [by Chou Wen-chü]. It was in the family collection of the former Lord of the Imperial Sacrifice, Chu Tsai. Someone made a copy and presented [it to me]. The woman dressing up her hair in a high chignon has been so since the T'ang Dynasty. In this scroll [the ladies are depicted] in plump beauty and in long undergarments and skirts. This is the style of Chou Fang. When I was in Chiao-nan I saw in Tuan-ch'i at the home of a descendant of the first emperor of the Ch'en Dynasty an emperor's scroll from his family collection. The attending court ladies dress their hair in a high chignon more or less similar to this. But the maidservants dress their hair into two large loops hanging down between the shoulder and the neck. Although these were unattractive, they looked real. The house of Li called itself Southern T'ang. Consequently, their style of dressing was adopted mostly from the custom of the T'ang period. However, their high sense of fashion actually followed the tradition of the Six Dynasties. When the painters say that in examining ancient pictures one should first investigate [the style ofl dressing, furnishings, and carriages, this is what they meant. This is written by Tan-yen-chu-shih in the fifth month of the keng-shen year in the Shao-hsing era [1140]. trans. WKH
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1976.1
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Rights: http://www.clevelandart.org/museum/disclaim2.html
Provenance: The University Museum, The University of Pennsylvania.
Style or Period: China, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)
AMICA ID: CMA_.1976.1
AMICA Library Year: 2003
Media Metadata Rights:

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