Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1961. Ex-Library First edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folio (19 x 13 1/2"). Two preliminary softcover quarto text volumes, one in English and one in Chinese, each with french fold leaves. English volume: 30pp. (2). Chinese volume: Unpaginated, w/ 24 leaves. 178 plates. Original tan cloth box portfolio with ivory clasps and gilt lettering on cover and spine. As a sequel to the Museum's 1933 portfolio of Chinese paintings in the Museum, Han to Sung periods, this portfolio contains reproductions of paintings from the Yüan, Ming and Ch-ing dynasties, roughly form the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. Many of the exquisite works, particularly those after the Yüan period, bear inscriptions, usually of poetic nature, relating to the subjects depicted. Many of the celebrated artists were not professional painters, but men of letters, some of them holding high governmental offices.
"One acquainted with the Chinese language knows that a literal rendering of a Chinese composition into English is well-nigh impossible because of the frequent allusions to classical literature and also because of the hidden or double meanings in some phrases. Consequently, the English versions which are incorporated in the descriptions are free interpretations. The transcriptions of the original inscriptions are to be found in the catalogue in Chinese accompanying the portfolio." (Tomita). Illustrated with 178 plates, 22 of them are tipped-in color reproductions, and the rest in b/w collotypes. Contains list of plates and descriptive text for all renderings, index of artists as well as documentation of source of acquisitions. Text in English and Chinese.
Ex Libris on inside front cover. Some minor offsetting on covers of both pamphlets due to the flaps of the portfolio. Very light age toning along edges of plates not at all affecting the images. Portfolio an interior in overall very good to near fine condition. vg to near fine. Item #41243