According to the inscription, bearing a date corresponding to 1889, composed by the then owner, Chen Kun, this stone plaque was once part of the decoration in a pavilion built by order of Ruan Yuan (1764-1849), when he was govenor of Yunnan province (1826-35). Named the Pavilion of Selected Stones, the structure was decorated on the exterior and interior walls with over a hundred stone screens with patterns suggestive of natural landscapes. Ruan Yuan, himself, composed an inscription on one of the stones commemorating the construction of the pavilion. The pavilion was destroyed in the fighting when 'bandits' (presumably referring to Muslim rebels) entered the capital city of Yunnan (Kunming) in 1863. A Buddhist monk, Chuncheng, later acquired the stone with Ruan Yuan's inscription, from which the history of the pavilion is known. Chuncheng gave the present stone (presumably from the same set) to Chen Kun.
Ruan Yuan was one of the great scholars of the Qing dynasty, with wide ranging interests. He was also an avid collector and student of antiquities and works of art. His interest in marble screens was probably cultivated when he was stationed in Kunming as governor of the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou. Among his numerous writings is his catalogue of his collection of Yunnan marble screens in five volumes entitled Record of Stone Pictures. As Ruan Yuan was one of the most influential scholar-officials in his time, it is likely that the Qing fashion for hanging Yunnan stone pictures in the study owed something to his advocacy.