Ancient Temple Concealed in Seclusion

Chia Shih-kuAD 960-AD 1279

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

The birth and death dates of Chia Shih-ku, a native of K'ai-feng in Honan, are unknown, but he served in the Imperial Painting Academy during the Shaohsing reign (1131-1162). He excelled at painting Buddhist and Taoist figures, the style for which he patterned after Li Kung-lin (1041-1106). His pai-miao (plain outline) style has an untrammeled manner. In this painting are two monks carrying sûtras as they walk along a path. Above then protrudes a cliff upon which lies an old temple with a fluttering banner and three shady pine trees. The mountain path leads to a place where a city wall can be seen; mountains appear vaguely in the distance. Since Kao-tsung (r. 1127-1162) appreciated the paintings of Li style on the Imperial Painting Academy was strong. The textures and washes of the mountain rocks in this painting reflect the style of Li Tang. Even though the figures are rendered in an abbreviated manner, the conception of them is complete and quite spirited.


  • Title: Ancient Temple Concealed in Seclusion
  • Creator: Chia Shih-ku
  • Date Created: AD 960-AD 1279
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.4 x 26 cm
  • Type: Album leaf
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: Ink and color on silk
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty

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