About the work

Walters Art Museum Object Description

In 353, forty-two high officials who were also poets gathered at the Orchid Pavilion to celebrate a spring festival. The poems they composed were judged, and the losers had to take a stick, retrieve one of the wine-filled cups that had been ingeniously sent down the river, and empty it. Much later, the text describing this happy occasion became a popular subject among artists, some of whom emphasized landscape, others the activities of the increasingly inebriated participants. This unsigned scroll is not easy to date. It has been dyed to make it look older than it actually is, but artificial aging has been practiced for centuries in China.

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