About this artwork
The eminent scholar-painter Wen Zhengming mastered disciplined but unassertive brushwork to create subtly powerful and often poignant compositions. Ascending a steep mountain path, a man with a walking staff is the solitary inhabitant of this landscape; desolate huts and clustered groves of thin trees are his only neighbors. Horizontal strokes accent the densely layered and partially shadowed mountain contours – an intriguing blend or representational form and surface texture.
A poetic colophon by Shao Bao (1460-1527) is inscribed after the painting:
In the Dao of painting, spring mountains are admired,
But one can sympathize even more with autumn mountains.
High winds overwhelm strong trees,
Heavy rains - one can really see the springs.
Tallow and plum trees are thin,
Maple groves and apricot [trees] fade and groan.
Yet when winter follows this,
The pine and cypress are just as before."
(translation by Stephen Little)
Currently Off View
- Asian Art
- Wen Zhengming
- Autumn Mountains
- Handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper
- Yuchi titile by Luo Zhenyu ( 羅振玉); frontispiece by Xu Lin ( 徐霖 ).
- 31.8 × 120.8 cm
- Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund