Boating on a River

February 12, 2005 – August 21, 2005

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Gallery 13, East Corridor Floor Plan

This exhibition surveys the role of boats in later Chinese painting history. On view in this thematic rotation are 28 works of Chinese painting and calligraphy spanning the 12th to the 20th centuries. Works include well-known scenes from Chinese literature, such as the mystical Nymph of the Luo River and the melancholy Lute Song. Also included in the rotation are works depicting scholars and fishermen's daily lives, genre boat scenes, and a section devoted to the canopied boats of a gentry class. In the East Corridor, a lovely Ming dynasty handscroll, depicting various kinds of fish, flanked by two fish-themed works of calligraphy, are also on display. It was inspired by the 600-year anniversary of Zheng He's construction of the massive Chinese "treasure fleet" and his 7 seafaring expeditions, spanning 28 years (1405-1433), in the early Ming period.