Signed, in pencil, l.r.: frago Unidentified monogram, l.r. corner: A [Arnoff] Verso; Collector's mark, in black ink, l.r. corner: D. Vivant-Denon (Lugt 779) Inscribed, in pencil, u.l.: Provenant (?) de Chabost In brown ink, u.r.: "dessiné par fragonard, a Tivoli, et fini d'imagination." [possibly in artist's hand]
This painted panel depicts an intimate domestic setting consisting of a bedchamber with a fireplace and a smaller vaulted antechamber that opens out on a garden. A haloed woman wearing a white veil rests in bed, having recently given birth. She leans to her right as she reaches toward a basin held by an attendant and looks across the room to the infant who is held on the lap of another servant. A halo also encircles the head of the child and a pair of angels fly above her. Several other attendants and midwives bustle about the room, while another woman, more richly clad than the servants, gazes on the child from her seat at the foot of the bed. In the antechamber sits a haloed man in a long white beard, who leans forward to hear news of the birth from the child standing in front of him. A companion sits behind him and a servant passes through the door into the bedchamber.
A comfortable household provides the setting for the birth of the Virgin Mary depicted in this panel. St. Anne, Mary's mother, lies in bed and turns to gaze toward her daughter, who is held on the lap of an attendant sitting by the fire. Other attendants and midwives move about the room while a more richly clad woman, possibly St. Elizabeth, sits at the foot of the bed, looking at Mary. In the antechamber the haloed figure of Joachim receives news of the birth from the child standing before him.
This photogravure shows a hazy gray and black outdoor scene. There is a dark cloaked figure depicted in silhouette and a suggestion of trees and vegetation. In the background is a misty gray hillside and expansive sky.
In 1908, Edward Steichen received an invitation from Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) to photograph his controversial sculpture of the French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850). Rodin’s plaster model for a monument to this celebrated author had been rejected by the society that commissioned it and ridiculed in the press when it was exhibited at the Salon of 1898. Ten years after the scandal he still hoped the Balzac might be understood by its critics and that Steichen, whose work he admired, could help to achieve this.
Rodin recommended that the plaster sculpture be photographed at night in moonlight and Steichen agreed. Photographing in the dark requires leaving the film exposed for long periods and Steichen experimented with times that ranged from fifteen minutes to an hour. Of the resulting images, this is one of three that Steichen thought the most successful. When Rodin finally saw a set of the prints a week or two later he said, “You will make the world understand my Balzac through these pictures. They are like Christ walking in the desert.”
Recto by Yu-shou Ts'ai Inscription: My wife, Chang Ch'ing-cheng, copies after Yün Pin (tzu, Ch'ing-yü, Mao Feng-tiao's wife, 18th century). I ask for advice from Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing). The husband, Yu-shou. One seal at left corner reads: Chien-nien fu fu chung chung ch'ih. Verso by Ch'ing-cheng Chang: Inscription by the artist: a poem. In the fourth month of the chi-yu year, my age of 77, I and my husband depicted these paintings after the poem of Han ching-wang. I ask for advice from Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing. Ts'ai Chang Ch'ing-cheng inscribes.
Recto by Ch'i Hu: Signed by artist: I have seen the colaberated work by Shen Chou and Wen Cheng-ming. I ask for advice from Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing in the seventh month of the chi-yu year, Hu Ch'i. Artist's seal follows the inscription: ? ? cheng-hua. Verso by Tsu-mou Chu: A poem. Signed by the artist: Chu Tsu-mou. One artist's seal follows the inscription: Ou-yin.
Recto by Lan-chih Kuo: Inscription: Painted in the late spring of the k'uei-hai year. I ask for advice from Mr. ? Lo-an (Shih-wen). Kuo Lan-chih of Ch'i-t'ing. One artist's seal follows the inscription: Kuo Ch'i-t'ing. Verso by Feng Kao: Calligraphy: Three poems by T'ao Ch'ien. Inscription: I ask for advice from Mr. ? Lo-an, Kao Feng. Two artist's seals follow the inscription: Hsü ?, Kao Feng.
Recto by Cheng Chin: Inscription: To Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing, Cheng. One artist's seal follows the inscription: Kung-pao. Verso by Chen-yü Lo: Calligraphy: Verse from a poem by Lu Yu (tzu, Fang-weng, 1125-1210). Inscription: To Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing, Lo Chen-yü of Kao-yüan. Artist's seal follows the inscription: Lo Chen-yü yin.
Recto: Inscription: a poem; In the last month of the Wu-wu year (1918), I just got an album done by Kung Yeh-i (Kung Hsien, 1599-1689), so I copied it and added color on for the request of Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing. Cheng. Two artist's seals follow the inscription: Chin Cheng, Kung-po. Verso: Inscription: To Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing, in the ninth month of the Wu-wu year (1918). T'ao-t'ao Chin Chang painted. Two artist's seals follow the inscription: Chin, Chang.
Recto: Inscription: To Mr. ? Tzu-ch'in, on the sixth day of the seventh month of the Hsin-ch'ao (1901). Wu Ku-hsiang. One artist's seals follows the inscription: Ch'iu-nung. Verso: Calligraphy: a poem. Inscription: To Mr. ? Tzu-ch'in. Wu Ku-hsiang. One artist's seal: Ku-hsiang.
Recto by Lan-chih Kuo: Inscription: Drinking Tea in Mt. Lu. Copy after a painting by Wen Cheng-ming. I ask for advice from Mr. ? Le-an. Kuo Lan-chih of Ch'i-t'ing. One artist's seal: Ch'i-t'ing. Verso by Tse-kai T'an: Calligrphy: a prose; Inscription: To Mr. ? Le-an. T'an Tse-k'ai. One artist's seal follows the inscription.
Recto by Kuo-wei Wang: Calligraphy: a prose One artist's seal follows the inscription: Wang Kuo-wei. Verso: singed Erh-t'ien: Calligraphy: a prose Signed by Erh-t'ien One artist's seal follows the inscription: illegible.
Recto by Ti T'ang: Inscription: To Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing. T'ang Ti. One artist's seal follows the inscription: T'ang Ting-chih. Verso by Chuen Li: Calligraphy: a poem. Inscription: To Mr. (Chiang) Meng-p'ing. In the ninth month of autumn in 1918. Li Chuen. (Meng-p'ing hsien-sheng cheng, Wu-wu chiu ch'iu p'ing-ti Li Chuen.) One artist's seal follows the inscription: Chih-sheng.