Image: 9 5/8 x 248 5/8 in. (24.4 x 631.5 cm)
Overall with mounting: 11 3/4 x 465 3/4 in. (29.8 x 1183 cm)
Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1976
Not on view
A close friend and follower of Dong Qichang (1555–1636), Zhao Zuo is said to have served occasionally as Dong's "substitute brush," or ghost painter. In this scroll, however, Zhao has followed the manner of the Yuan master Huang Gongwang (1269–1354) to create a lyrically realistic landscape in which Dong Qichang's influence is tempered by the deft use of rich washes and color. Abstract mountain forms, no doubt inspired by Dong, are softened by the painter's skillful evocation of spatial recession and hazy atmosphere. It is precisely the "professional" technical excellence and "sweetness" that distinguish Zhao's imitations from Dong's authentic works.
Inscription: Artist's inscription and signature (4 columns in standard script):