Real and Imagined Landscapes in Chinese Art
March 11–August 14, 2016
Gallery 225



Wang Wending, Chinese, 1877–1927; Gathering of the Immortals, 1919 or 1920; Republican period (1912–1949); set of 12 hanging scrolls mounted as a pair of six-panel folding screens: ink and color on gold paper; overall: 86 3/4 x 98 5/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Funds given by Miss Helen M. Longmire, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley F. Jackes, Mrs. G. Gordon Hertslet, the Columbia Terminals Company Charitable Trust, Mrs. Clark P. Fiske, and donors to the 1983 Art Enrichment Fund 42:1984.1, .2
Chinese art is filled with images of landscapes and landscape settings. Some are depictions of imaginary locations and others may represent actual sites at certain points in time, while still others combine real and imagined landscape elements within the same pictorial space or object surface. This exhibition of selected works from the Museum's collection explores how real and imagined landscapes in Chinese art are seen within paintings as well as three-dimensional objects.

Works in the exhibition include two hanging scrolls bearing titles that refer to actual named places: The Taibo Wine Pavilion at Caishi Rock by Miao Song and Elegant Gathering at the Poetry Niche, a collaborative work by Fa Shishan and his friends. Gathering of the Immortals by Wang Wending depicts the birthday celebration of the Daoist deity Queen Mother of the West in a garden of lotus, plantain, and exotic flowering plants. These screens present symbols of longevity, and were painted in honor of the 60th birthday of the Li family matriarch Madame Chen. Other works in the exhibition that interpret landscapes through visual imagination include the hanging scroll by Wan Shanglin with scenery that arouses a sense of tranquility, and two porcelain barrel-form garden seats decorated with peacocks in landscape settings.

Real and Imagined Landscapes in Chinese Art is curated by Philip Hu, associate curator-in-charge of Asian art.