I have inherited a beautiful Chinese silk artwork. I would like to know what age it is and what the script and seal mean. Much appreciated if anyone can help

artwork on silk

  • The traditional Chinese character 曉 was simplefied to 晓 in mainland China, but the version in the paiting is 暁, it is running script style.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 5:20

4 Answers 4


The Title is 江南春曉 pronounced Jiang Nan Chun Xiao

江 mean river, most used for Changjiang River in China: Asia longest and the world third longest river
南 mean south or southern
春 mean spring
曉 mean morning or dawn

So 江南春曉 mean A Spring Morning in Southern China

The script beside the title is 己亥永秋逸之

己亥 is a kind of Chinese calendar to name the year, it cycle every 60 years, so it can mean 1059,1119,1179,1239,1299,1359,1419,1479,1539,1599,1659,1719,1779,1839,1899,1959,2019, if the painting is created in Qing dynasty (AD 1644–1911) it can mean any of the following year 1659,1719,1779,1839,1899 Click for More info

永 mean forever
秋 mean autumn
永秋 I am not sure but it can be the name of the painter.

逸之 is like Best Regards in English letter.

For the seal it contain two characters, on the left side it has 山 which mean mountain, I can't identify the character on the right.


the four bigger characters are "江南春曉"

in which "江南" referring to "lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the yangtze river"

"春曉" means "mornings of the spring"

the smaller characters are "己亥初秋逸x" (x: not yet identified)

己亥 is one of the sexagenary cycle, in marking year, it's 2019-60i, e.g. 2019, 1959, 1899, 1839 . . .

"初秋" means early autumn

"初" is the best i can guess, might be wrong :)

"逸x" is, most likely, the name of the painter.

in the seal, i suspected the right one is "茂", and, the left character is "山".

  • My first guess was 己亥永秋逸之, but that didn't make any sense, so I didn't post an answer...Also the first character of the seal looks strange, never seen a shape like that before.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 3:10
  • @droooze "永", me too. i can't compose any meaning from this one. "之", omg, my initial guess is "丁" :( as usual, i suspected, the character "茂" :) Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 3:16
  • 茂, maybe second character here dict.variants.moe.edu.tw/variants/rbt/…
    – dROOOze
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 3:19
  • @droooze, yes, similar; well found :) Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 3:21
  • i guess it's "初秋", answer edited. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 3:31

Its 江南春晓, 己亥初秋逸之, and seal 茂山(right-to-left)

江南春晓 is the title or name of this work, means A Spring Morning in Southern China as @Simon already said.

己亥 is the year this work is done, and 初秋 denotes the time: at the beginning of autumn.

逸之 is the name of the author.

  • thanks for your comments. Can you tell which year it was painted Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 23:18
  • as @水巷孑蠻 already answered, 己亥 is one of the sexagenary cycle, so that the exact year is not known. 2019 is (one of) 己亥 year, any (2019-60*k) for integer k would be 己亥 year.
    – imkzh
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 4:47

Regarding the seal

it is perhaps:

(a placename)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.