Collections and Critiques

Harvard Alumnus Gives Four Chinese Paintings to Museum Display

Interest is given to the current exhibition at the Fogg Museum of Chinese and Japanese portraits owned by Dr. D. W. Ross '75 by the recent addition of four new paintings to the Ross collection of Oriental work in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

The group added to the Museum exhibition are authentic Sung dynasty portraits on silk of a rare and valuable nature The general them of the four pictures is "Wen-chi's captivity in Mongolia and her return to China" Wen-chi is the name of a Chinese lady who was captured and carried away to the North by invading Tartars in 195 A.D. She was ransomed after 12 years of exile in the desolate country of Mongolia and returned to marry the leader of the Chinese army. Her misfortunes and their happy ending became the subject of legends and poetry that in turn were used as topics for illustration by the classic Chinese artists.

The four paintings at the Museum fall in this category of Wen-chi pictures. They are executed with the fineness of detail of minatures and are attested as of great artistic merit by Chinese connoisseurs of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century.