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Assistance reading text / opinion on painting with Min Zhen seal

Posted By: Jimmy James
Posted Date: Aug 31, 2020 (11:46 AM)

A while back I acquired from a local thrift shop a few older-looking pieces of Chinese artwork (some paintings, a long scroll of text, etc.). I have a number of questions about the pieces, and I'll probably make separate posts for each one.

For this post, I'm enclosing photos of a painting that bears the seal of Min Zhen. I'm enclosing one photo of the whole work, and one of the text / seal that is at the top left of the work.

I have a few questions about this work.

One, what does the accompanying text read? I've tried various tools but my untrained eyes find it very difficult to input the stylized calligraphic text.

Two, the painting appears to be a watercolor on paper, but what is going on with the very frayed edges? Is the paper glued onto some kind of Canvas backing? It seems somewhat similar to the example at the Cleveland Museum of Art (linked), except the piece I've got has extremely frayed edges instead of nicely woven material that surrounds the paper.

Three, is there any chance it's actually real? There are a few factors that, to me, imply it may not be. The first of which is that it just seems extremely unlikely that I would randomly find a real 18th century piece of art at a thrift store. Second, Min Zhen was known for painting portraits, and this is a landscape. A Google search for landscapes by Min Zhen, though, does reveal that he painted those as well (with an identical seal to what's seen here -- see the linked photo from a piece at the Cleveland Museum of Art). Three, it seems odd that the only seal present is that of Min Zhen. There are no collector seals or any other seals. I've certainly not looked at all the Min Zhen holdings in all the collections, but in my searching I've not seen any pieces in museums or elsewhere that don't have at least one other seal on them.

I've enjoyed looking around on the forum as I learn more about this stuff, and I look forward to any input. Thanks!


Link :Example of Cleveland Museum of Art

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