Art/ Collection/ Art Object

元 佚名 觀梅圖 軸
Scholar Viewing Plum Blossoms

Unidentified Artist Chinese
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
ca. 1300
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 37 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (94.6 x 29.2 cm) Overall with mounting: 71 x 16 1/8 in. (180.3 x 41 cm) Overall with knobs: 37 1/4 x 18 in. (94.6 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
This small landscape is a rare example of the continuation of the Southern Song Painting Academy manner during the Mongol occupation. With the establishment of the native Chinese Ming dynasty in 1368, the Song style again returned to prominence as the model for the Ming Imperial Painting Academy. This painting demonstrates that practitioners of the Song style continued to work through the fourteenth century, bridging the gap between the two formal academies.

Executed in the mode of the Song master Ma Yuan (act. ca. 1190–1225), the painting continues the subject matter and vividly descriptive manner of the Song but uses more abstract outline strokes to define rocks and tree trunks, reflecting the development of a calligraphic brush style by Yuan scholar-artists.

Almost no paintings of this type survive in China; all known examples come from Japan, where this style and tall narrow format had an important influence on Japanese artists of the Muromachi period (1333–1573).
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal
Klaus F. Naumann
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