This work was completed in 1794 after Li Jian had recovered from an illness when living in Guangzhou. It demonstrates his versatility in mastering forms and is regarded as a Li masterpiece epitomizing the virtues of previous masters. In the foreground of the painting is a group of different species of trees. The middle ground depicts a flat sloping area of land and a hut with similar level of detail as in the foreground, whilst the mountains in the background are depicted with simple, dense ink dots. The image of the thatched shack and sparse trees reflects the stylistic characteristics of Ni Zan. But Li Jian has transformed Ni's simplicity into density and fluidity. He has also adopted the technique of "Long Hemp–fibre Texture Strokes", ink dots and the treatment of pebbled hilltops used by Dong Yuan and Juran. The whole work displays a distinct and rich layering of visual elements, revealing an air of ease and expansiveness.


  • Title: Landscape
  • Creator: Li Jian
  • Date: 1794
  • Theme: Landscape
  • Physical Dimensions: w84 x h195 cm
  • About the Artist: Li Jian is a typical traditional literati painter. He was nurtured by a traditional scholarly family. As a result, he made some remarkable achievements in the areas of poetry, calligraphy, painting and seal carving. It can be said that he was versatile and gifted in many ways, and is considered one of the most renowned painters in the history of Guangdong. His painting style can be divided into two categories. The first one features simplicity and expanse, inspired by the painter Ni Zan of the Yuan Dynasty. The other is marked by vividness and fluidity, a tradition which dates back to Shitao and Wu Zhen, and further back to the painters Dong Yuan and Juran of the Five dynasties.
  • Type: Ink and colour on paper
  • Rights: Hong Kong Museum of Art

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