Illustrated Work on the Storage and Drainage Activities at the Lakes and Rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal


This work was originally in the Qing imperial collection. The painting of the work was executed in an exquisite manner. A title at head of the work reads: Huang Yun hu he zong tu (The overall map of the lakes and rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal). The work depicts Dajiang (the Yangtze River) in the south up to the borders of Shandong, Henan, and Jiangnan in the north. It has detailed scenes of the tributaries, harbors, and bridges of the lakes and rivers, followed by two essays: Nan xun sheng dian tu shuo (Illustrated grand occasion of the Southern Inspection) and Huang Yun hu he gengzi tu shuo (Illustrations of the lakes and rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal in the Year of Gengzi) and 18 paintings, depicting scenes of the Yellow River, the Grand Canal, Junma Lake, Hongze Lake, Weishan Lake, Huai River, and so forth. Directions used are the opposite of the modern-day practice, with south on the top, north at the bottom, west on the right and east on the left. All maps have texts attached, mostly quoting memorials to the imperial court on issues of river conservancy, which are complementary to the illustrations and provide historical information. At the end of the work is a red square-shaped seal impression with six characters Jiaqing yu lan zhi bao (The treasure of Emperor Jiaqing). The label on the original box reads: Nan He Huang Yun hu he xu xie ji yi tu shuo (Illustrated work on the storage and drainage activities at the lakes and rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal). Regrettably the book suffered serious worm damage and the folded pleats are broken. However, this is the only existing copy in the world and is to be treasured. This work was later acquired by Yu Shaosong (1882–1949), a painter and teacher of art history. It has his two white square-shaped seal impressions.

Last updated: January 3, 2018