About this artwork
This painting depicts the private estate of Wang Wei (c. 699–761), a government statesman renowned as a poet, painter, calligrapher, and musician. Wang periodically retired to this countryside villa, which he described in a painting and in a poem of 20 quatrains. Although Wang’s original pictorial composition is not preserved, this early reinterpretation depicts the scenic spots vividly described in his poetry.
Barely visible midway through the landscape is the spurious signature of the eminent artist Li Gonglin (c. 1049–1106). This scroll, which may accurately preserve Li’s composition, shows thickly contoured rocks, tight spatial recession, and other aspects stylistic features that are associated with Chinese artists active under the Jin, a Tartar state that conquered and occupied north China in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.
Currently Off View
- Arts of Asia
- The Wangchuan Villa
- Handscroll; ink on silk
- 26.3 × 554 cm (216 × 10 1/4 in.)
- Kate S. Buckingham Fund