Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees

Yan Wengui (967-1044)AD 960-AD 1279

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

This painting depicts the scenery of high mountains with distant peaks appearing above clouds and a rising foreground enveloped in mist. The three groups of mountain forms skillfully echo each other, the blank areas of clouds and mist highlighting them further. Despite the small size of the painting, it nonetheless gives the effect of a broad vista. The rock faceting in particular has been created with many texture strokes and washes that form the surface quality, the brushwork similar to that of Li Tang (ca. 1070-after 1150). It would thus stylistically make this work a transitional piece between Li's Wind in Pines Among a Myriad Valleys and Intimate Scenery of River and Mountains, also in the National Palace Museum. This album leaf bears neither seal nor signature of the artist, the traditional title label giving the present title and the attribution to Yan Wengui. However, stylistic comparison shows it to be unrelated to Yan, a court painter active in the Northern Song period. Rather, it is a masterful work of the early Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) influenced by Li Tang.


  • Title: Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees
  • Creator: Yan Wengui (967-1044)
  • Date Created: AD 960-AD 1279
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty

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