Autumn Mountains

A work made of handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper.

Date:

Ming dynasty (1368–1644), early 16th century

Artist:

Wen Zhengming
Chinese, 1470-1559

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)

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Asian Art

Artist

Wen Zhengming

Title

Autumn Mountains

Origin

China

Date

1510–1550

Medium

Handscroll; ink on gold-flecked paper

Inscriptions

Yuchi titile by Luo Zhenyu ( 羅振玉); frontispiece by Xu Lin ( 徐霖 ).

Dimensions

31.8 × 120.8 cm

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund

Reference Number

1948.103

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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