About This Artwork

Lu Zhi
Chinese, 1496-1576

Pulling Oars under Clearing Autumn Skies (Distant Mountains), Ming dynasty (1368–1644); c. 1545

Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
105.8 x 31.1 cm (41 5/8 x 12 1/ 4 in.)
Inscribed by the artist:
Beyond the sky the distant mountains seem to float like
green jade. In the evening light, on my magnolia boat,
I watch numberless hibiscus spread toward me in the
rapid wind. I feast my eye on the cold river in autumn.
Lu Zhi.

W. L. Mead Fund, 1953.159

Landscape painting offered artists the opportunity to create visual poems about the beauty and continuity of nature and man's place in it. Lu Zhi, a 16th-century artist, belonged to a class of highly educated men who painted for their own pleasure. In Distant Mountains, he used multiple ground planes and suggestive voids to create a majestic vista of jagged peaks and a meandering, wide river. Through the crystalline precision of his brush strokes, the artist achieved an image of great clarity and refinement.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Cleveland Museum of Art, Chinese Landscape Painting, 1954, p. 87, cat. 61, p. 85 (ill), cat. by Sherman E. Lee.

Memphis, Tenn., Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, The Literati Vision: Sixteenth Century Wu School Painting and Calligraphy, Sept. 16-Oct. 28, 1984, cat. by Alice R. M. Hyland; traveled to Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Dec. 2, 1984-Jan. 27, 1985, p. 93, cat. 19, p. 34, fig. 17.

Publication History

Sherman E. Lee, Chinese Landscape Painting (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1954), p. 87, cat. 61, p. 85 (ill), 2nd ed, rev. (Harper & Row, 1962), p. 80, p. 81 (ill.), as Landscape with Clear Distance.

Louise Ripple Yuhas, The Landscape Art of Lu Chih (1496-1576), (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1979), p. 368.

Louise Yuhas, “The Landscape Painting of Lu Chih (Part I)”, National Palace Museum Bulletin 20, 5-6 (November/December 1985, January/February 1986), pp. 9-10.

Louise Yuhas, “Lu Chih and the Literati Tradition: Paintings in the Style of Ni Tsan”. Ars Orientalis, 13 (1982), pp. 34-5; p. 52, fig. 10.

Alice R. M. Hyland, The Literati Vision: Sixteenth Century Wu School Painting and Calligraphy (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1984), cat. 19, p. 34, fig. 17.

Elinor L. Pearlstein and James T. Ulak, Asian Art in the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago / Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1993), p. 74 (ill.), pp. 75-76, p. 149.

Ownership History

Purchased from Walter Hochstadter, New York

Ex collection: Xiang Yuanbian (1535-90)

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Interpretive Resources

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