Image: 66 x 32 1/2 in. (167.6 x 82.6 cm)
Overall with mounting: 118 3/4 x 38 1/2 in. (301.6 x 97.8 cm)
Overall with knobs: 118 3/4 x 42 3/4 in. (301.6 x 108.6 cm)
Purchase, John M. Crawford Jr. Bequest, 1992
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 215
A solitary figure, too humbly dressed for the cold buffeting wind, draws a protective sleeve to his face as he quickly makes his way to the comfort of the dwelling nestled among bare trees and snow-laden bamboo—perhaps Dai's own Bamboo Snow Studio. Dai Jin was one of the last major masters to embody the artistic traditions of the Southern Song Imperial Painting Academy, but he was also a very versatile painter who drew inspiration from diverse sources. In this painting, the manner of outlining forms with a gentle sinuous line, the large and powerful deciduous trees, and the scale of the figure in relationship to the setting recall the works of the Yuan artist Sheng Mou (act. ca. 1310–60).
The tendency toward swift, sketchy, cursive brushwork here is a hallmark of Dai Jin's later work. Dai sometimes painted precariously close to the edge of control, creating a distinctively kinesthetic, movement-filled style that was fresh and new and that would greatly influence later Ming professional painting.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 column in semi-cursive script)
Painted by Dai Wenjin from Qiantang [in Zhejiang].