元 趙原 (元) 倣燕文貴范寬山水圖 卷 Landscape in the Style of Yan Wengui and Fan Kuan
Zhao Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1350–75)
Yuan (1271–1368) or Ming (1368–1644) dynasty
late 14th century
Handscroll; ink on paper
Image: 9 13/16 x 30 1/2 in. (24.9 x 77.5 cm)
Overall with mounting: 10 1/8 x 347 5/16 in. (25.7 x 882.2 cm)
Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1981
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 213
Couched in the Northern Song idioms of Yan Wengui (active ca. 970–1030) and Fan Kuan (active ca. 990–1030), this small landscape by Zhao Yuan exemplifies late Yuan and early Ming scholar painting in which ancient models were transformed by calligraphic brushwork. Late Yuan scholar-artists saw painting as a vehicle for personal expression: painting, it was said, should be like handwriting—a “heart print” of the artist.
Executed during a period of political and social turmoil, Zhao’s handscroll reflects a common theme found in paintings of his time: the reclusive life. A secluded mountain villa nestled at the foot of a tall peak suggests a serene existence free from worldly strife.
Zhao Yuan, who lived in the south, re-created the towering mountains of the north through his imagination. The last fantastic peak near the far left of the composition was probably inspired by a garden rock—similar to one on display along the west wall of the Museum’s Astor Court.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 column in standard script)
Produced by Zhao Yuan from Ju [in Shandong].
Zhao Yuan 趙原 Bimen shenqu 閑門深趣
Shen Xun (active ca. 1370–1400) Shen shi Shicheng 沈氏士偁 Shuijinggong 水晶宮 Xunzhai shuhua 巽齋書畫
Wang Shu 王澍 (1668–1743), a line of 4 characters in large seal script and 2 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1734; 1 seal:
趙沈合璧 雍正十二年二月之吉 琅邪王澍題。 [印]： 恭壽
1. Wen Jia 文嘉 (1501–1583), 13 columns in standard script, dated 1562; 1 seal: