Description In 1669, a book was published depicting the twenty-four loyal ministers of the second emperor of the Tang [T'ang] Dynasty (reigned 627-49)-the men who helped the emperor consolidate power. The year 1669 was one in which imperial ministers were facing the challenge of bringing order throughout the empire on behalf of Kangxi [K'ang-hsi], second emperor of the Qing [Ch'ing] Dynasty (reigned 1662-1722). Historical records state that portraits of the Tang [T'ang] ministers had been painted on the walls of the Gallery that traverses Smoky Clouds (Lingyengo [Ling-yen-ko]), a building on the palace grounds. This handscroll, by an unknown but immensely skilled painter, reproduces almost exactly the imaginary portraits in the book, which were designed by Lin Yuan, an artist who went to work at the imperial court in the 1670s. (1) Changsun Wuji [Ch'ang-sun Wu-chi] Minister of Education (2) Li Xiaogong [Li Hsiao-kung] Minister of Works (3) Du Ruhui [Tu Ju-hui] Minister of Works Commanader of the Heir Designate (4) Wei Zheng [Wei Cheng] Minister of Works Grand Preceptor of the Heir Designate (5) Fang Xuanling [Fang Hsüan-ling] Minister of Works Duke of the Kingdom of Liang (6) Gao Jian [Kao Chien] Minister of Education (7) Weichi Jingde [Wei-ch'ih Ching-te] Commander Unequaled in Honor (8) Li Jing [Li Ching] Specially Advanced Duke of the Kingdom of Wei (9) Xiao Yu [Hsiao Yu] Specially Advanced Duke of the Kingdom of Sung (10) Yuan Jixuan [Yüan Chi-hsüan] Grand Bulwark General of the State
Provenance Dr. John C. Ferguson Collection [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John C. Ferguson Collection Sale, American Art Association, April 7, 1916, no. 227 [as Yüan]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1916, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Seal] At beginning on mount; [Seal] On beginning of painting; [Seal] Three at the end of the painting on the mount.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1916
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