University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Object TitleMing Huang's Journey to Shu
Object Number: C137
Current Location: Collections storage
Provenience: China
Period: Ming Dynasty
Date Made: 14th Century - 15th Century
Early Date: 1300
Late Date: 1499
Iconography:Ming Huang's Journey to Shu
Ming Huang
Human Figures
Mountain Landscape
Height: 203.84cm
Width: 147.64cm
Credit Line:Purchased from M. Knoedler & Company, 1916
Other NumberGETZ 51 - Other Number


This painting depicts a romantic tragedy involving the Tang Emperor Xuanzong (685 - 762 CE), also known by his posthumous name Minghuang, who fell in love with a beautiful concubine named Yuang Guifei. Yang Gufei brought about the temporary fall of the Tang Dynasty through her involvement with a Turkic genral named An Lushan in 757 CE.

An Lushan led a revolt against the Tang Empire, forcing the emperor to flee the captial to Shu, today Sichuan Province. The soldiers who accompanied Xuanzong blamed Yang Guifei for the rebellion and forced the Emperor to execute her en route.

Depicted here is the journey to Shu, winding through the slender, jagged mountains on foot and horseback. Although the painting is from the Ming Dynasty, the strong blue and green colors are characterstic of the earlier Tang Dynasty style. Formerly attributed to Li Zhadao 李昭道 (flourished early 8th century). Formerly in the collection of John Calvin Ferguson (1866 - 1945 CE).

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968)View Objects in Exhibition
Harrison Chinese Rotunda Inaugural Exhibition ( Feb 1916)View Objects in Exhibition


[Book] Qian, Zhaoming. 1995. Orientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams. : Page/Fig./Plate: Front Cover and Figure 25, pp. 117-118View Objects cited in this Publication
[Article] Lyons, Elizabeth. 1986. Ming Huang's Journey to Shu: The History of a Painting. Expedition: The Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. 28 (3): 22-28.View Objects cited in this Publication
[Article] Soper, Alexander C. 1967. A Ninth Century Landscape Painting in the Japanese Imperial Palace and Some Chinese Parallels. Artibus Asiae. 29 (4)View Objects cited in this Publication
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum. : Page/Fig./Plate: 61View Objects cited in this Publication
[Book] Ferguson, John C. 1927. Chinese Painting. : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 71View Objects cited in this Publication
[Catalogue] Fernald, Helen E. 1922. Handbook of Chinese Paintings in the Collection of the Museum. : Page/Fig./Plate: 57View Objects cited in this Publication
[Catalogue] Getz, John. 1916. The Univesity Museum Exhibition of Oriental Art. : Page/Fig./Plate: 194 no.51View Objects cited in this Publication
[Catalogue] M. Knoedler & Co. 1914. Catalogue of early Chinese paintings of the T'ang, Sung and Yuan dynasties A.D. 600-1400. : Page/Fig./Plate: No. 1View Objects cited in this Publication

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