Sixth Volume of the 'Emperor Kangxi’s Inspection Tour of the South'

Sixth Volume of the 'Emperor Kangxi’s Inspection Tour of the South'

The Research on the Ancient and Modern Geographical Names
The Research on the Ancient and Modern Geographical Names

The Kangxi Nanxun Tu (Emperor Kangxi’s Inspection Tour of the South, hereinafter referred to as “Inspection Tour of the South”) is a historical scroll painting about Emperor Kangxi’s second inspection tour of the south in the year of 1689. There are twelve volumes of this painting with a total length of over 200 meters (its actual length can not be determined since the fifth and the eighth volumes have been lost. The length of the existing ten volumes exceeds over 200 meters). The volumes of the “Inspection Tour of the South” are now separately housed in several museums in the world. Among these volumes, only the sixth volume was divided into seven sections by a French collector. These sections were finally collected by two collectors after several auctions. Although it is a great pity that the inscriptions on the volume header are missing, the inscriptions on the cover are still there, saying “The sixth volume of Inspection Tour of the South, crossing the river to Jinshan (Mountain Jin) from Guazhou via Changzhou Prefecture”.

The records of the route from Zhenjiang to Changzhou are found in Kangxi Qiju Zhu (Record of Emperor Kangxi’s Daily Life):

On January 29th, Emperor Kangxi instructed Wang Xin, the Director General of the Grand Canal: “Any damaged embankments where I have ever passed through, such as Gaoyou County, you can instantly repair.”

On this day, Emperor Kangxi stayed at Jinshan Temple of Zhenjiang Prefecture.

On January 30th, 1718, Emperor Kangxi passed through Zhenjiang Prefecture, staying at Qili Temple of Danyang County.

On this day, Zu Guangpu, the Defense Commissioner of Jingkou, Zhao Chengwan, the Assistant Regional Commander, Wang Yang, the Magistrate of Zhenjiang Prefecture and Zhu Cheng, the Magistrate of Dantu County, etc., had an audience with Emperor Kangxi.

On February 1st, Emperor Kangxi stayed at Haizikou of Changzhou Prefecture.

On this day, Liang Nai, the Regional Commander of Susong Navy Camp, Zhao Qi, the Sub-prefectural Magistrate of Zhenjiang Prefecture, Dou Chongguang, the Magistrate of Danyang County and Dong Erhong, the Magistrate of Jintan County, etc., had an audience with Emperor Kangxi[1].

Therefore, it can be found from the above records that the sixth volume depicts Emperor Kangxi’s southern inspection tour crossing the Yangtze River from Guazhou, then staying at the Jinshan Temple, arriving in the imperial inspection tour route of Changzhou and visiting local places of interest via Zhengjiang Prefecture and Danyang City. Owing to the lack of understanding of this painting, the French collectors did not divide the connected scenic spots into the same section when cutting this volume. As a result, this article does not intend to describe this volume according to the existing divisions.

Guazhou and the Three Mountains of Jingkou
  • Xijin Ferry Created with Sketch.
  • Mount Yu Created with Sketch.
  • Ganlu Temple Pagoda Created with Sketch.
  • Mount Beigu Created with Sketch.
  • The Tomb of Guo Pu / The Hill of Shipai / Yungen Islet Created with Sketch.
  • Jinshan Created with Sketch.
  • Shancai Stone / Hill Hu Created with Sketch.
  • Guazhou Created with Sketch.
  • Jiaoshan Created with Sketch.
  • Xijin Ferry
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  • Mount Yu
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  • Ganlu Temple Pagoda

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  • Mount Beigu
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  • The Tomb of Guo Pu / The Hill of Shipai / Yungen Islet
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  • Jinshan

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  • Shancai Stone / Hill Hu
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  • Guazhou
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  • Jiaoshan

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Guazhou and the Three Mountains of Jingkou

On the sixth volume, the first thing coming into view is the wide Yangtze River, with an islet then appearing in waves. The character “Jiaoshan (Mountain Jiao)” was marked on it. More and more boats sail down the river. Across the River, Guazhou City which is located on the north of the river can be seen faintly. The officials and the people walk out of the gate with colored hangings, arriving at the riverside along the long dyke extending to the River. On the west of Guazhou City walls, it is the mouth of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in Guazhou. Moving forward, a great number of official ships is depicted sailing towards the south of the Yangtze River. In the centre of the river a larger islet appears with high and steep hills, luxuriant trees and winding paths. The palaces, the temples as well as the pavilions are built closely side by side. A tall tower, with the inscription of “Jinshan (Jin Mountain)” standing aloft on the top of the islet, is the most famous Cishou Pagoda in Jinshan Temple of Zhenjiang. Mountain Jin was called Fuyu (the floating jade) in the ancient times. Zhou Bida (1126-1204) once said that “Jin Mountain was surrounded by the river as if it could fly along with the rise of wind and waves. Therefore, it was called Mount Fuyu in the Southern Dynasty”. The buildings of Mount Jin tightly wrap the mountain, shaping a unique style of “temple wrapping the mountain”. In this painting, the buildings of Mount Jin are sparsely scattered in the mountain. On the east side, there is the rock named Hill Hu (also known as Shancai Stone). On the left side, a low-level reef is the Hill Shipai, which is also called as Yungen Islet. According to the legend, the tomb of Guo Pu is located on it. Since the French collectors did not understand the relative locations of the tomb of Guo Pu [2]and Mount Jin, they divided it into the second section.

The three mountain of Jingkou

Upon closer observation, you will find that a great number of official ships is moored alongside the dock with winding corridors under the islet. The officials have already waited on the dock. There is a white marble platform on the mountainside (probably the Miaogao Pavilion[3]). A venerable man is standing under the yellow crank canopy, overlooking the beautiful scenery of the Yangtze River. Although the figure in this painting is about only one inch, it can be determined that it is Emperor Kangxi from the figure’s costume and demeanor. Jinshan Temple is the most famous scenic spot in Zhenjiang and Emperor Kangxi once stayed here during his second southern inspection tour. Therefore, the figure of Emperor Kangxi comes into the view in the first place of the sixth volume. Besides, against the background of the vast Yangtze River, it can undoubtedly highlight Emperor Kangxi’s great achievements and magnanimity.

Looking still further ahead, there is a mountain in the scroll painting below, which is towering and steep. It is the Mountain Beigu. An iron wood-imitating and pavilion-like pagoda is located on the mountain, which is called as Ganlu Temple Pagoda. It is the description of Jingkou’s three mountains at the very beginning of the sixth volume.

Zhenjiang, which was once known as “Jingkou” in ancient times, is located on the significant intersection of the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, playing the role of a vital passage.“The three mountains of Jingkou” are typical landmarks. Among the three mountains, Mount Jin and Mount Jiao were both once called “Fuyu (the Floating Jade)” since the two mountains were the islets located in the center of the Yangtze River, facing each other from east to west. Mount Beigu, joined to Zhenjiang Prefecture which is on the south bank of the Yangtze River, is surrounded by waters on three sides. Geographically, the three mountains are located next to each other like the legs of a tripod. In the year of 1512, the concept of “the three mountains of Jingkou” was put forward for the very first time in Jingkou Sanshan Zhi (The Chronicles of the Three Mountains of Jingkou), and the three mountains first appeared in the same picture in the form of print. In the middle and late Ming Dynasty, the number of “the three mountains of Jingkou” painting surged, forming its classic painting style. The locations of the three mountains in some prints, like Jingkou Sanshan Zhi (The Chronicles of the Three Mountains of Jingkou), Sancai Tuhui (Assembled Pictures of the Three Realms), Hainei Qiguan (The Wonders in the Country), Tianxia Mingshan Shenggai Ji (The Records of Famous Mountains and Beautiful Sceneries, the sixth year under the reign of Chongzhen, namely the year of 1633) and Wuyue Youcao (Visiting the Five Mountains) of the Mohui Studio (1692), share their same characteristics. In some paintings, such as Song Maojin’s Mingsheng Shibajing Tuce: Jinshan (Eighteen Scenic Spots: Mountain Jin) of the Ming Dynasty (housed in Nanjing Museum), Qiangu’s Jixing Tu: Jinjiao (The Reocrds of Trips: the Mountain Jin and the Mountain Jiao) (housed in Taipei Palace Museum) together with Qian Gu and Zhang Fu’s Shuicheng Tu (The Painting of Water Travel: the Mountain Jin and the Mountain Jiao), they also have similar compositions.

Xijin Ferry and Zhaoguan

There is a wharf under the hill, which is on the left side of Mountain Beigu, with a number of ships anchored here. Many people gather on the wharf, who might be members of the southern inspection team judging from the costumes of the people and the flags on the ships. There are also many banners and flags behind the mountain situating on the left side of the embankment. It probably docks a great number of official ships here which are the same ones in the River. Further moving forward, the two tall buildings and a gate building are situated between a hill and continuous mountains. The “Yinshanmen Dock” is the famous Xijin Ferry in Zhenjiang[4].

Since the Tang Dynasty, Zhenjiang has been an important canal transport and traffic center. Xijin Ferry on the south bank and Guazhou Ferry on the north bank were vital ferries on the north-south main land route across the Yangtze River in Eastern China of the ancient times as well as the main ferries to the north of the Yangtze River from Zhenjiang at that time, playing a strategic military role since the Three Kingdoms period.

The shape of Xijin Ferry is quite unique, with its port appearing as a peninsula extending westward into the River. The Xijin Ferry in the painting basically coincides with the relics of Xijin Ferry wharf of the Qing Dynasty which was recently found. The wharf with its length of about 94 meters, made of stones, is divided into two parts, namely the wharf and the wharf platform. The wharf part, with the length of 64 meters, is a long embankment with a gentle slope. Its height difference between the two ends is about 4 meters. It can dock the ships besides the embankment as the water level declines from high to low, without the restrictions of the rise-and-fall of the water level. The wharf platform is about 30 meters with rectangular stones paved, which is the place for passengers and cargoes on-and-off the ships. The Jiangnan Grand Viewing Building on the embankment was built in the Ming Dynasty for waiting for ships and enjoying the scenery. The main buildings are the local authorities and temples on the ferry port, which are surrounded by the stone banks. On its east end, it is also built with the gate[5]. According to the “Sketch Map of the Ferry Area in the Ming and Qing Dynasties” drawn by the Xijin Ferry archaeological team (Picture 10), the wharf of the Xijin Ferry was actually located on the southwest side of Mount Yu. It was the towering Mount Yuntai on its southeast side. Mount Yuntai, which is also known as Mount Suan or Mount Yin, is located alongside the Yangtze River on the northwest of the ancient Zhenjiang, while Mount Yu stretches from Mount Yuntai to the northwestern river. The two mountains are closely related to the ancient Xijin Ferry. Mount Yuntai is the support while Mount Yu is the barrier of the ferry. About the relationship between the Mount Yuntai and Mount Yu, Sheng En of the Ming Dynasty described the Xijing Ferry and its surroundings in his article of Jingkou Sanshan Fu (Ode to the Three Mountains of Jingkou), “Mount Yu is just like the arm, which is my choice; while Mount Yin is like the thigh to link with hills. The rock weirs seem like the doors, and the scenes of Yuping are variable”.[6]

Zhou Hao[7], who lived in the reigns of Jiaqing and Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty, once painted Jingjiang Ershisi Jing (The Twenty-four Scenes of Jingjiang). It describes his painting of Xijin Xiaodu (Crossing the River from Xijin Ferry at Dawn) (Picture 11). There are some boats sailing on the west side of the vast Yangtze River. Mount Yuntai is majestically located on its right side, while the lower Mount Yu stands upright in the river. The houses on the bank are arranged closely side by side. The long embankment at the bottom of the painting stretches from the shore into the river, with ships being moored beside it. This is the Xijin Ferry. The depiction about the relative locations among the Xijin Ferry, Mount Yu and Mount Yuntai are completely consistent with the actual scenes, although the painting view is from west to east.

Sesshū Tōyō (also known as “Snow Boat”, 1420-1506), the Japanese monk and painter, passed through Xijin Ferry in the fourth year of Chenghua (1468). He composed a painting named Tangtu Shengjing Tu (The Grand Landscape of China) [8]to depict the beautiful scenery on the trip. From Sesshū’s perspective, where he viewed from the north bank to the south, we can see the whole view of Mount Jiao, Mount Beigu, Zhen Jiang Prefecture, Mount Jin, and Xijin Ferry. The right side of the picture starts with Mount Jin, showing the mountain’s north, with the tomb of Guo Pu on its left and Xinjin Ferry on the front left. Boats are moored by the sides of inclining dyke extending from the semicircular wharf. On the platform of the wharf stands a building, which is the Jiangnan Grand Viewing Building. The two-story-structured building is magnificent with multiple eave roofs and an arched gate. Behind the building is Bao’en Temple[9]; on the left is Mount Yu, where Xiayuan Shuifu Temple is located on the summit. Behind Mount Yu is Mount Yuntai, whose front side, also by the left of Mount Yu, extends to the river. A tower-like pass gate stands on the mountain pathway, known as Zhaoguan. Below the ferry, there is an inscription by the painter, saying “Shangjing Ferry (To-the capital Ferry)”. It can be deduced that Shangjing Ferry is another name for Xijin Ferry, which illustrates its vital location on the way to the capital from south to north. Walking along the pathway of Mount Yuntai and turning right, Zhenjing Prefecture comes into our sight, with Mountain Beigu on the north, and Mountain Jiao on the further left. What Sesshū depicted here is basically consistent with the factual layout.

By comparison with the first section of Inspection Tour of the South Volume Six, we could find that the three mountains of Jingkou are presented similarly in both paintings. Both of them take the Yangtze River as the axis. The difference is that Sesshū perceived from the north bank to the south and only displayed the scenery of south bank; while Inspection Tour to the South’s perspective is from the opposite and describes the landscape of both banks. Besides the three mountain of Jing Kou, Inspection Tour of the South also illustrates Guazhou Ferry on the north bank to perfectly connect the volume five and volume six.
When it comes to Xijin Ferry, the perspective of Inspection Tour of the South has undergone a clever transformation, turning to view from north to south, so that Xijin ferry appears behind Mount Yu. Walking along the ancient street behind Xijin Ferry, there is a gray brick gateway with the name "Zhaoguan (Zhao Pass)". In fact, Zhaoguan is not simply a gateway, but was built with a stone pagoda dated back to the fourth year of Zhida in Yuan Dynasty (1311). Due to its bottle shape, the pagoda is called by local people as Lama Pagoda or Bottle Pagoda. Located at the highest point of Xijin Ferry Ancient Street, some also call it the Crossing Street Pagoda or the Xijin Ferry Stone Pagoda. The painter used a symbolic painting method to describe the lower part of "Zhaoguan" realistically, but with the stone tower above omitted. For example, what Zhaoguan looks like in the map of Dantuxian Zhi (the Chronicles of Dantu County) in Jiaqing Period (Picture 15) is very similar to that of volume six. It is worth noting that from Xijin Ferry onward to Zhaoguan and the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture, which will be discussed later, the axis of the painting has been shifted to Xijin Ferry Ancient Street. Accordingly the angle of view is from north to south.

Not only the viewpoint is constantly changing, the painter also moved and changed the position and size of each scene ingeniously for the needs of composition and environment. Geographically, the three mountains in Jingkou are located in the shape of a tripod. However, they are arranged in a line in the volume six. That is, Mount Beigu, which originally locates more east, appears on the left side of Mount Jin, to generate a grand opening of the painting. With the river and sky of the same hue, it feels that the whole painting scroll is filled with the running river. Mount Jin and Mount Jiao are like two "floating jades", together with Guazhou on the other side of the river, forming an inverted triangle. After the vast expanse of river appears the land with Mount Beigu as the start point of the land. However, the steep Mount Beigu is compressed at the bottom, leaving a large space for the Yangtze River. Low hills stretch onward until Mount Yuntai suddenly rises high, straight into the heart of the river. The green mountain stretches like a screen all the way to the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture. After a length of cloud haze, Mount Yuntai is ultimately connected with the verdant Mount South. The composition of the painting is full of ups and downs, which generates a sense of dramatic conflicts, just like an agitated and fascinating movement.

The topography of Mount Jin, Mount Jiao, Mount Beigu, and Xijin Ferry has changed a lot from the paintings. Mount Jin, which was originally haunted by the river, is connected to the land. This is because from the Kangxi Period, the main course of the Yangtze River in Zhenjiang and Guazhou sections moved northward, causing the north bank to erode while the south bank clogged. By the Daoguang Period, it is recorded that "The sand rises directly in Xijin Ferry, on the river south, and connects Mountain Jin." As for Guazhou Ferry on the river north, it is said that "After the first decade of the Daoguang era, the river cause moved northward, thus resulting an increasingly serious erosion and getting the whole city into danger". As of the beginning of the Guangxu era, "the whole city was buried by the river." That is to say, Guazhou Ferry on the river north vanished after repeated flush by the turbulent river, while Xijin Ferry on the river south was gradually buried and disappeared by the rising silt[10]. The ancient Xijin Ferry is now more than 300 meters away from the river bank. According to the Gudai Xijindu yu Guazhou Weizhi Shiyitu (Location Diagram of Ancient Xijin Ferry and Guazhou Ferry) drawn by the archaeological team of Xijin Ferry, it is obvious to see the huge changes in the topography of this area over the past three hundred years.

Zhaoguan and Ancient Zhen Jiang City
  • Helin Temple Created with Sketch.
  • Zhulin Temple Created with Sketch.
  • Zhaoyin Temple Created with Sketch.
  • Huju Bridge Created with Sketch.
  • Huju Gate Created with Sketch.
  • Hill Tangtui Created with Sketch.
  • West Gate of Zhenjiang Created with Sketch.
  • Tongfu Bridge Created with Sketch.
  • Zhaoguan Created with Sketch.
  • Mount Yuntai Created with Sketch.
  • Bao’en Temple Created with Sketch.
  • Jiangnan Grand Viewing Building Created with Sketch.
  • Mount Baota Created with Sketch.
  • Helin Temple

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  • Zhulin Temple

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  • Zhaoyin Temple

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  • Huju Bridge
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  • Huju Gate
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  • Hill Tangtui
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  • West Gate of Zhenjiang
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  • Tongfu Bridge
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  • Zhaoguan

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  • Mount Yuntai
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Ancient Zhen Jiang City

Ancient map of Dantu Town

Clouds and mists linger in the mountains from Zhaoguan onwards, as a typical way of spatial connection and scene transformation in the Inspection Tour of the South. Soon, a bustling market and then a stone arch bridge across the river come into our sight. To the west of the bridge is the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture (also called Tongfu Gate, and the bridge outside the gate is Tongfu Bridge). Coloured sheds are built to welcome the emperor’s visit. Outside the city wall is the Grand Canal, but we cannot see any canal estuary here. In fact, there used to be three canal estuaries in Zhenjiang. According to the map of Dantuxian Zhi (the Chronicles of Dantu County) in Guangxu Period, the easternmost canal estuary was located on the west of Mountain Beigu, floating through Dengxian Bridge to the north city gate. The canal estuary in the middle passed through a small gate, a floating bridge and merged with another traveling from the west. The merged canal passed through Tongfu Bridge and ultimately flew southward. Now the east and west canal estuaries have been abandoned and filled. Only the middle one remains, which is situated at today’s Pingzheng Bridge. The painter omitted the canal estuary between Mountain Beigu and Mountain Yuntai and only arranged the canal until the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture, possibly in order to avoid trivial details.

The canal basically flows from north to south and then changes its direction at the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture, from south to north, all the way to Changzhou. Accordingly, the axis of the painting shifts to the canal, so that what we see is more of the scenery on the south bank.

Going south from the west gate of Zhenjiang Prefecture, the canal turns to the east. There is a small hill inside the city wall, called Hill Tangtui. Under the ancient pine trees are several buildings with red walls and gray tiles, which is Luohan Temple. According to the description of Jingkou Ji (The Notes of Jingkou), Hill Tangtui “winds for three miles” and many beautiful buildings were built on the hill from the Eastern Jin Dynasty to the Tang and Song Dynasties. It is introduced in Liu Jianguo's Gucheng Sanbuqu (The Trilogy of the Ancient City), the father-in-law of Wang Xizhi, the prime minister of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Xi Jian, resided on the foot of Hill Tanghui, and it is where the story of “a proud son-in-law" took place.

The canal continues south along the city wall, reaching the South Gate of Zhenjiang, Huju Gate. Unfortunately, when the painting was sectioned, a corner of the gate tower was cut off. Outside the gate stands an arched bridge, called Huju Bridge. We can see merchant ships gathering in the canal and many shops opening on the bank. Against the rolling mountains in the distance, a temple, inscribed as “Zhulin Temple”, is hidden among verdant bamboos. There are two other famous temples in the southern suburbs of Zhenjiang, one is located on the right mountain, known as Zhaoyin Temple, and another on the left of the bridge below, called Helin Temple.

Walking along the canal, a brick pagoda shows up at the bottom of the painting. So the mountain here is called Mount Baota (Mount Pagoda). This pagoda was originally built in the Tang Dynasty on the northern shore of Hongze Lake, Sizhou City. It was named after a prominent monk from Western Region, Sengjia (624-710), called Sengjia Pagoda, because his body was buried here. During the Shaoxing period of the Southern Song Dynasty (1131--1162), monks from Sizhou came to Zhenjiang with Sengjia’s profile to escape the war and built Sengjia Pagoda on Mount Shouqiu. During the Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty (about 1595), they moved the pagoda to Mount Dingshi, which became the landmark of the east gate of Zhenjiang. The pagoda was rebuilt in the style of the Ming Dynasty, with seven levels and eight sides. It is structured like a wood-made pavilion but is actually made of brick. Mount Dingshi dominates the south of the Yangtze River with the pagoda stands on the top. It is close to the Grand Canal where you can take a panoramic view of Mount South.

Continuing along the canal, there emerges a peaceful and bright countryside scenery in the spring: with streams gurgling, willows sprouting, and smoke rising from the village, people walk along the road singing joyful songs. After passing the Yongning Bridge in Dantu Town, the mountain grows higher and the river banks become tortuous. Several large boats are running against the turbulent current. Due to the heavy load, boat trackers are struggling to pull the boat on the shore. The shore is decorated with coloured sheds and flags, and people gather here to welcome the emperor’s visit. On the bank slope, there is a banner written that "Indefinite royal graciousness for free food." This is probably the only detail in the sixth volume related to Emperor Kangxi's government affairs during the inspection tour to the south.

The welcoming lines stretch to Xinfeng Town, where there is a bridge over the canal, called Magong Bridge. As early as the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the place was famous for fine wine. Once Emperor Yuan of Liang Dynasty, Xiao Yi, drank the wine and wrote a poem: "Try some Xinfeng wine and toast to the old friends far away." On the tour to south of the Yangtze River, the poet Li Bai composed after drinking Xinfeng wine: "Drink Xinfeng wine and enjoy the best prostitute’s singing.” So many wine jars appear in the shop at the entrance of Magong Bridge.

Danyang City and Sanyi Pavilion
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  • Yongning Bridge Created with Sketch.
  • Dantu Town Created with Sketch.
  • Magong Bridge Created with Sketch.
  • Xinfeng Town Created with Sketch.
  • Danyang City Created with Sketch.
  • Sanyi Pavilion Created with Sketch.
  • Indefinite royal graciousness for free food
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  • Yongning Bridge
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  • Dantu Town
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  • Xinfeng Town
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  • Danyang City
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  • Sanyi Pavilion

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Danyang City

After a span of flat land in the mountain, there emerge winding hills. People travel along the mountain roads, some riding horse, some taking unicycle, and some walking. At the bottom of the slope is another densely-populated village. An arch bridge spans over the canal as a link to Danyang City. With a water gate connected to the canal on the left, only a small part of Danyang City is shown in the painting.

Moving on, the canal makes a big turn here and surrounds a peninsula with a temple. This is where Sanyi Pavilion is located. Behind the pavilion is the landmark of Danyang City - Wanshan Pagoda, a tall and brick-made one. According to Danyangxian Zhi (The Chronicles of Danyang County), around the 40th year of the Wanli era (1612), the magistrate, Kuang Mingluan, dug a canal here. The excavated soil piled up on the west bank of the river was later used to build the pagoda. However, the project was overambitious and remained uncompleted. Not until the second year of Tianqi (1622) was the Sanyi Pavilion first constructed, and then rebuilt as a pagoda by the first decade of the Chongzheng era (1637). The pagoda used to be called different names, such as "Tongtian Pagoda", "Wenbi Pagoda", "Sanyi Pavilion Pagoda" and "Chengxia Pavilion Pagoda". In modern times, people have specially made textual research on this, saying that it should be called Wanshou Pagoda. When the pagoda was under repair in May 1987, a clear inscription was found on the treasure bottle of the top, saying "Wanshan Pagoda, Danyang County, Zhenjiang Prefecture". Since then, the pagoda has been uniformly known as Wanshan Pagoda. Also, the inscription gives a clue to the construction time: "It was built in the mid spring of the first decade of Chongzhen in Ming Dynasty." Unfortunately we cannot see Sanyi Pavilion now more. But the landforms in this area is still consistent with the painting from the satellite image, with Wanshan Pagoda Park surrounded by river water.

Changzhou City
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  • Changzhou City Created with Sketch.
  • Wanyuan Bridge, Benniu Town Created with Sketch.
  • Biji Lane

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  • The Memorial Hall of Virtuous Woman, Mrs Hai
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  • Wenheng Bridge

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  • Xiying Li
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  • Changzhou City
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  • Wanyuan Bridge, Benniu Town

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Changzhou City

Continuing to move forward and cross a five-pier bridge enters into Changzhou City. The painting scroll is divided from here. This part is 4.75 meters long, the longest of the seven. The first thing that comes into our view is Benniu Town. Over the canal stands a steep and single-hole bridge, named Wanyuan Bridge. It was built in the Song Dynasty, whose name was derived from a legend. It is said in ancient times, the East Street and Cross Street of Benniu Town were cut off by Laomeng River, which was very inconvenient for people’s livese. To tackle the obstacle, a calligrapher determined to "raise funds" by writing the character "yuan (good wishes)" for ten thousand families to build a bridge. The diligent and simple local people put their good wishes on this bridge, also calling it as "Wannian Bridge (The Bridge of Ten Thousand Years)". The bridge looks very tall and majestic, with thirty stone steps on the east and west sides.

After Benniu Town, there are flat and well-segmented paddy fields. Famers are directing cattle to cultivate the land. The willow trees on the field stalks just begins sprouting. The village houses are hidden in the willow forest far away. The brushwork of this part is very similar to Wang Hui's style. Going further onward is the west gate of Changzhou City, where the streets are quite lively. There is a three-arch stone bridge over the canal, known as Wenheng Bridge. It was built in the 27th year of the Jiajing era (1548), nearly 500 year ago from now. It is stated in Wuyuan Zhiyu (The Chronicles of Wuyang County): "As a vital link between the north and south, Wenheng Bridge witnesses grain ships, vehicles and horses busily going up and down." Among the bridges in Changzhou, " Wenheng Bridge gathers the most talent." Candidates from Suzhou and Songjiang must pass through here to take the imperial exam in Nanjing and they normally made a short stay here, thus naming it as "Wenheng Bridge". Being tall and straight, the bridge’s three arched holes, together with their reflections on the water form three large circles. Every autumn night, it is fascinating to view the moon reflection through the three bridge holes. This beautiful scenery, known as "Wenheng Bridge Crossing the Moon", is ranked to be one of the "Eight Landscapes in Changzhou western suburb", even comparable to the landscape of Five Pavilion Bridge in Yangzhou: "At full-moon time, each bridge hole holds a moon. The moon reflection ripple in the water, contending for brilliance, which is indescribable." On the north of Wenheng Bridge is Biji Lane, where the ancient post house is situated, formerly known as the " Flower Street". The post house used to accommodate officers and officials who passed official documents to rest and change horses in ancient times. Changzhou is famous for grate skips and wooden combs, where is home to "the best combs in the world". At the alley entrance is a tall archway, called the "grand wharf". People assemble there, beating gongs and drums. Some people carry dragon carvings and offerings, and some are dressed up as Eight Immortals and the God of Levity. They are marching towards the canal by five groups, followed by a drum team. The cheerful audience crowd round the parade and move forward. On the opposite bank, there is a market on the terrace, with many shops selling rice and beans. A number of boats is moored under the high embankment.

Crossing Wenheng Bridge is Xiying Li, the economic center and military powerhouse of Changzhou. The place was firstly named as “西营(west military camp)” when Tang He, a general of Emperor Hongwu, Zhu Yuanzhang, stationed in Changzhou. But because the military camp was frequently caught on fire, “西营 (west military camp)” was changed to be “西瀛 (the West Sea)”, to express the good wish of using water to defeat fire. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Grand Canal witnessed the prosperity of commerce, with a profusion of merchant ships. The ancient city wall was built with fortifications, with armed soldiers patrolling at night. The painting also depicted scenes of people celebrating the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival in Changzhou, comparable to the Qingming shanghe tu (Ascending the River at Qingming Festival). It is shown in the Sixth Volume that Xiyingli is built with a solid barbican, connected to the outside by a wooden suspension bridge. Outside the city are busy streets with abundant shops and pedestrians. The prosperity depicted here has become the last climax of the painting. It is worth noting that on the side of the canal outside the city gate, a small courtyard shaded by bamboos is marked as "Hai Liefu Ci (the Memorial Hall of Virtuous Woman, Mrs Hai)". This originated from a story that occurred in Changzhou in the fifth year of the Kangxi era (1666): The beautiful woman from Xuzhou, Mrs. Hai came to Wenheng Bridge together with her husband to join her relatives. To resist adultery, she committed suicide without hesitation. This memorial hall was constructed beside the canal to commemorate her. After entering the city, houses are shaded by green trees, and a palace is faintly visible in the smoke. Here is the end of the painting.

To conclude, the sixth volume conceives and arranges the scenery and characters according to the three-day itinerary of Emperor Kangxi's second southern tour from Zhenjiang to Changzhou. With Emperor Kangxi shown on the summit of Mount Jin, the painter used nearly a quarter of the length in the beginning to show the grand scene of the mighty river and thousands of travelling sails. As for the remaining painting, despite being dotted with coloured gates, there are no more descriptions about the grand welcoming scene. Comparable to Qingming shanghe tu (Ascending the River at Qingming Festival) in the Qing Dynasty, the sixth volume illustrates the mountains, rivers, towns, and villages from Zhenjiang to Changzhou so vividly that it must have counted on considerable levels of field investigations and sketches. Moreover, not restricted by the orientation or the real scene, the painter constantly changed perspectives for the composition’s need to connect cities along the route. The painting does not concern itself too much with the rendition of the city’s prosperity, but focuses more on the most distinctive places of interest in each area. Cities and villages alternately appear, with the village scene properly compressed and the transition and connection in between full of changes. The landscape in the sixth volume is particularly fascinating, whether it is the vast Yangtze River at the beginning, the floating jade-like Mount Jin and Mount Jiao, the screen-like Mount Yutai, the green dripping Mount South, the zigzag path in the field and the village houses shaded by willows, the turbulent mountain river and the ancient pine trees. All these exquisite presentations illustrate the painting style and brushwork skills of the main painter, Wang Hui and integrate the painting characteristics of both north and south. Meanwhile, the vivid depictions of the pavilions, cities, markets, boats, cars, and sedans in the painting also reflect the superb painting skills of the co-painters. There are many characters in the painting, with different identities, genders, ages, costumes, and actions, reflecting the painters' superb ability to portray characters, not to mention all kinds of mules, horses, cattle and sheep. It is almost impossible for one person to finish such a grand work alone. It must be a work of cooperation with Wang Hui, his apprentice and many other court painters.

I express my gratitude to Liu Jianguo from Zhenjiang Museum for his meticulous guidance in the writing of this article, and also Zhang Xinghuai and Ye Kangning who went to Zhenjiang, Danyang, and Changzhou to take the live photos for the article.

[1] Xu Shangding: Kangxi Qiju Zhu (Record of Emperor Kangxi’s Daily Life, the Fourth Volume), Beijing: The Eastern Publishing Co., Ltd, 2004, page 112

[2] Guo Pu (276-324), courtesy Jingchun, the son of Guo Yuan who was the Governor of Jianping, was a native of Wenxi County of Hedong Shire (present-day Wenxi County of Shanxi Province). He was a famous writer, an expert of exegetical studies and a practitioner of Feng Shui. It is said that the current tomb of Guo Pu was built by Huang

[3] Miaogao Pavilion is also called as “Shaijing Platform (Sutras-drying Platform)”. “Miaogao” is paraphrased from “Sumeru” in Sanskrit. According to Jinshan Zhi (The Records of Jinshan, the Jinshan Temple of Zhenjiang) which was compiled by Liu Nanlu, “The Miaogao Pavilion was built by Monk Foyin in the reign of Yuanyou of the Song Dynasty. It is situated behind the Qielan Temple with a height of over ten feet. It has a pavilion, which is also known as “Shaijing Platform (Sutras-drying Platform)”. In the Records, it also mentioned that “The river passing the Miaogao Pavilion is as bright as a mirror”. Miaogao Pavilion is surrounded by cliffs on the east, west and south sides, as if walking in the fairyland when fog spreads all over the mountain. When Mountain Jin is located in the River, people can look down on the Yangtze River all round. The river flowing eastward would be directly split into two streams, then continually flowing in an unstoppable way to the east, which is majestic in all its variety. Lou Yue, which was a poet in the Song Dynasty, said in his poem “Miaogao Peak”: “The lofty Miaogao Peak towers into the clouds, on where the people can overlook other thousands of mountains. Trying to go downhill from Gangtou to Yuanshi, I do not know when the travellers will return to the bottom of the mountain.” It has suffered several ups and downs. Monk Shizhong of the Ming Dynasty and Xue Shuchang of the Qing Dynasty rebuilt it one after another. In the year of 1948, it was destroyed in a fire with the Jinshan Temple and the Sutra Collection Pavilion. The present Miaogao Pavilion was rebuilt led by Master Cizhou in the year of 1991.

[4] The title of “Yinshanmen Dock” has never been known in Zhenjiang. We have no idea why it was marked in the painting of Emperor Kangxi’s Inspection Tour of the South.

[5] Zhenjiang Museum and the Ancient City Archaeology of Zhenjiang: Excavation Report on the Site of Xijing Ferry of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, Southeast Culture, from page 32 to page 42 on the first volume in 2011

[6] Liu Jianguo, Huo Qiang, Chen Changrong, Wang Kefei and Gong Bangan: The Archaeology of Xijin Ferry (1998-2010), Jiangsu University Press, 2018, on page 2

[7] Zhou Hao (the year of birth and death is unknown), courtesy name Zijing, was a native of Zhenjiang. He was a well-known painter of Zhenjiang in the reigns of Jiaqing and Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty. Because of his poor family circumstances, he did not seek to become an official. Selling his paintings to earn a living, his name is unrecorded in traditional painting connoisseurship. Zhou Hao was proficient at landscape painting, whose painting style was vigorous with exquisite, elegant and bright colors. He was especially skilled in using ink, whose Cun method (in Chinese painting, brush or dabs that give texture or surface to the pictorial elements) was remarkable. Zhou Hao, who was an important painter of the late “Jingjiang School of Painting”, used to adopt dense, black ink applied with brush fairly dry to paint in light places to make the composition vivid and innovated in coloring.

[8] (Japan) Sesshū Tōyō et al.: "Tang Tu Sheng Jing Tu (“The Grand Landscape of China”), Yamato Wenhua Hall, Japan: " Sesshū Tōyō (Special Exhibition)", Nara: Huijiantang Co., Ltd., 1994, pp. 85 and 86.

[9] In the thirty-eighth year of Kangxi (1699), Baoen Temple was renamed as Chaoan Temple, and the forehead of the temple was written by Emperor Kangxi. (Qing Dynasty) Yang Lutai et al.: "The Chronicles of Dantu County in Guangxu Period " Volume VI, block copy by the 5th year of Guangxu (1879).

[10] Liu Jianguo: Study on the Two Ferries of the Yangtze River in Xijin and Guazhou and Their Traffic Attributes, Journal of Zhenjiang College 2017, Issue 3, p. 3

Chinese Paintings – Classical Hong Kong Autumn Auctions

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