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Chinese landscape painting and western landscape painting are quite similar in their birth process. They both developed from the background of portraits; however, their later development is quite different. Since the day it came into being, Chinese landscape painting did not focus so much on representation of the reality, but more expressed artist's inner ideal landscape. Since the rise of literati painting theory in Song Dynasty, literati’s pursuit for brush work greatly influenced landscape painting. Landscape painting had become a carrier for ink experiment. After Dong Qichang’s summarization of painting history in late Ming Dynasty, it had become the key point for painters to learn and imitate their predecessors so as to make landscape painting transcend the real mountains and waters. His theory influenced landscape painting in the whole Qing Dynasty. This painting, by one of the "Four Talents" Wang Hui, portrayed views of autumn mountains which could be seen from the images and the inscription by his friend. But in reality we could not find any similar kind of landscape. Here the images are not important, what’s important is his use of painting techniques, which imitated literati painter Wang Meng’s techniques in the Yuan Dynasty.

Details

  • Title: Mountains, Streams and Autumn Trees
  • Creator: Wang Hui
  • Date: 1717
  • Provenance: National Palace Museum
  • Physical format: painting, 112.4h x 39.5w cm
  • Medium: colors on paper
  • Dynastic period: Ming Dynasty

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