"Album of paintings" comes from the evolution of Chinese ancient books design, and it is a unique Chinese painting forms. As a painting sketch, it facilitates creation, easy for storage and portable, suitable for instant appreciation, thus it was quite popular among literati since Song Dynasty. This album by Dong Qichang has a total of eight pages. According to the inscription by Dong himself, we could know that this painting portrays the scenery along his way boating to Wumen and Jingkou in the autumn of 1620. But in fact, the eight-page paintings do not present a real recognition of landscape, so they should not be seen as landscape paintings but should be regarded as Dong’s emulating predecessors’ way of painting. For this, Dong used to say: "to view the painted images, the painting is far from wonderful landscape; to view the exquisite painting method, it goes beyond the painted landscape." There is a poem written by Dong Qichang in each page, which accords to his theory of "literati painting” he always pursued and had achievement in. In addition, the political unrest in Ming Dynasty in 1620 and Dong Qichang’s own ups and downs also seems to leave some trace in a very subtle way in this album.


  • Title: Eight Views of Autumn Moods-8
  • Creator: Dong Qichang
  • Date: 1620
  • Provenance: Shanghai Museum
  • Physical format: painting, 53.8h x 31.7w cm
  • Medium: colors on paper
  • Dynastic period: Ming Dynasty
  • Artist's birth and death date: 1555-1636

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