View right to left
overall: Sheep and Goat

Sheep and Goat 二羊圖

Artist: Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254-1322)
Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, ca. 1300
Ink on paper
25.2 x 48.7 cm
Credit Line
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Zhao Mengfu was the preeminent painter and calligrapher of the early Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), and one of the most versatile and subtle artists in the Chinese tradition. Balanced in mood and posture, the two animals turn their heads back toward each other to create an open but unified composition. In his inscription at the left of the painting, Zhao Mengfu states his motivation for creating this work: "I have painted horses before, but have never painted sheep [or goats]. So when Zhongxin requested a painting, I playfully drew these for him from life. Though I cannot get close to the ancient masters, I have managed somewhat to capture their essential spirit."

The seals of several Ming and Qing dynasty collectors, especially those of the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1735–95), who once owned the scroll, are applied over much of the remaining paper. Borrowing vocabulary from an ancient poem about sheep, the emperor also provided the title frontispiece at right, which reads: "Divine likeness [of sheep] in motion and repose."

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Fukushima Company, New York 1931 [1]

From 1931
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fukushima Company, New York in 1931 [2]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note.

[2] See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

On View Location
Currently not on view
China, goat, sheep, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Collection(s) Area
Chinese Art
Web Resource(s)
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy, Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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