In this stark scene of barren trees and snow-covered, distant mountains, the artist has combined the "one-corner" compositional formula of the Song Imperial Painting Academy with the Fan Kuan (active ca. (990–1030) idiom of "small ax-cut" stippled rocks and stocky trees with bare, stubby branches to evoke a mood of chilly quietude. The scene focuses on two travelers awaiting the arrival of a ferryman in his small boat. The angular foreground boulders and spiky trees contrast with the gray-and-white expanse of water, sky, and snowshrouded mountains, set off by a flock of circling birds—emphasizing the sense of hushed stillness.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature or seal
Cai Naihuang 蔡乃煌 (1861–1916), 2 columns in semi-cursive scrip, undated; 2 seals (on separate paper):
長汀落雁圖 上下天光，一碧萬頃，畫品高遠，宋人當是徐兢一派。 [印]: 藏年室、曾藏蔡伯浩處
[ John C. Ferguson , 1913; sold to MMA]
New York. China Institute in America. "Treasures from the Metropolitan Museum," October 24, 1979–January 27, 1980.
Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "The Mandate of Heaven: Emperors and Artists in China," April 2, 1996–July 7, 1996.
Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Mandate of Heaven: Emperors and Artists in China," August 3, 1996–November 10, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Brush: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy," March 12, 2005–August 14, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Four Seasons," January 28, 2006–August 13, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Journeys: Mapping the Earth and Mind in Chinese Art," February 10, 2007–August 26, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China," August 26, 2017–January 6, 2019.