Up the River During Qingming

Qiu Ying(1494-1552)AD 1368-AD 1644

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Attributed to Qiu Ying (ca. 1494-1522), Ming dynasty Many imitations of “Up the River During Qingming” have been done since the Southern Song period (1127-1279), and by the middle of the Ming dynasty even more copies were in circulation. The one that apparently caught the most attention was by the renowned master Qiu Ying, and many painters vied to imitate his version. In fact, dozens of “Up the River During Qingming” scrolls with Qiu Ying’s name survive today, and three of them are in the National Palace Museum collection. This handscroll includes several scenes that differ from the other versions attributed to Qiu Ying, such as the stage performance, willow shooting, acrobatics, tightrope walking, and military review. In terms of the details for the boat race on Lake Jinming, not only are the buildings quite ornate and beautiful, the figural tiles on the eave ridges extend with exaggeration to emphasize the sumptuous and majestic quality of palace architecture. The activities are also unusually raucous, such as the imperial boat race to capture pennants, dance scene, and other past-times. The bright coloring here likewise differentiates this work from the others, including the plentiful use of mineral blue and green, cinnabar, gamboge, whitewash, and violet to create a strongly decorative and beautiful style for the painting surface. Other details, such as the technique for rendering the water ripples and the formulaic layering of the landscape forms, combine to suggest an illusory feeling to the space. Thus, this painting appears to be a conscious emulation of the Qiu Ying style by a Suzhou workshop artist in the Ming dynasty.


  • Title: Up the River During Qingming
  • Creator: Qiu Ying(1494-1552)
  • Date Created: AD 1368-AD 1644
  • Physical Dimensions: 34.8x804.2cm
  • Type: Painting/Handscroll
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink and colors on silk
  • Dynasty: Ming dynasty

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