Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, Poem by Wang Wei

Ma Lin (Chinese, c. 1185-after 1260)1225-75

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Artists at the Southern Song Painting Academy were often trained in illustrating poetry. Here, Ma Lin responds to a poem composed by Tang poet Wang Wei (701–about 761) and written by emperor Song Lizong: “I walk unto where waters end—And sit down to watch when clouds arise.” While two thirds of the round fan leaf remain empty, Ma Lin paints a scholar who gazes at a vast landscape panorama with a shore shrouded in mist and faint mountain ranges in the distance.

This leaf and the emperor's calligraphy were originally mounted together and must have made a precious imperial gift when bestowed on a worthy official or high dignitary.

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  • Title: Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds, Poem by Wang Wei
  • Creator: Ma Lin (Chinese, c. 1185-after 1260)
  • Date Created: 1225-75
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 25.1 x 25.3 cm (9 7/8 x 9 15/16 in.); with mat: 33.3 x 40.5 cm (13 1/8 x 15 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Nagatani, Inc., Chicago, IL, ?-1961), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, 1961 to present
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1961.421.1
  • Medium: Album leaf, ink on silk
  • Inscriptions: Artist's signature: Your subject, Ma Lin. 2 seals on mounting of Chu Sheng-chai (20th c.).
  • Department: Chinese Art
  • Culture: China, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: ASIAN - Album leaf
  • Accession Number: 1961.421.1

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