From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
Not on view
Although this painting bears the spurious signature of Xia Gui, the undisputed master of landscape painting in the Song Imperial Painting Academy, its motifs, brushwork, and palette relate it to the work of Ma Yuan, Xia's contemporary and the other leading Song Academy master. Images of caves and grottoes have rich associations involving their role as possible access points to Daoist paradises. The use of such imagery here may imply an escapist wish to leave behind the cares of the mundane world.
Inscription: Artist’s signature (1 column in standard script) [spurious]