Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion

Full Title: 
Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion
ink and color on paper
overall with mounting: 24.8 cm (height) x 1248.1 cm (width)
In 353, the renowned calligrapher Wang Xizhi (307–365) and his friends met at the Orchid Pavilion (at Shanyin, in modern Zhejiang Province) to celebrate the spring festival of purification. Sitting by a stream, they held a poetry competition. When the time was up, eleven men had finished two poems, and fifteen had finished one; the sixteen who failed to come up with anything (among them, Wang’s son Xianzhi) were penalized by having to drink three additional cups of wine. In Qian Gu’s representation of this famous literary event, cups of wine float downstream as the poets, lined up on both sides, drink freely and struggle to complete their poems. This painting is modeled after a composition said to have been originated by Li Gonglin (ca. 1049–1106).
Location Notes: 
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1980
Repository Accession Number: 
Repository Website: 
Description Source: 
Metropolitan Museum of Art;
Scrolls Project ID: 
7 159 523