Richard M. Barnhart. An Early Landscape Painting from the Collection of Mi Fu
In early April 2019 I spent three rewarding days examining paintings from the collection of Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) in the storage areas of the recently renovated Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. One purpose of my visit was to consult with the Freer’s associate curator of Chinese painting and calligraphy, Stephen Allee, about a number of paintings that one or both of us considered due for reassessment as to dating and/or authorship. In an earlier article in Orientations, I investigated three bird-and-flower paintings that I believe are closely connected to Zhao Chang (c. 960–after 1016), two of them from the Freer collection (Barnhart, 2019); the present article focuses on a familiar landscape painting that may have been painted a hundred years earlier than the Zhao Chang group.