Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清 高岑 擬古山水圖 冊 絹本
Landscapes in the styles of old masters

Gao Cen (Chinese, active 1643–after 1682)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
dated 1667
Album of ten leaves; ink and color on silk
Each leaf: 8 1/8 x 8 3/8 in. (20.5 x 21.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, C. C. Wang Gift, 2007
Accession Number:
Not on view
Gao Cen was among the most accomplished of the so-called Eight Masters of Nanjing. He specialized in small-scale gemlike paintings executed in an intricate, descriptive style that highlighted the scenery of the city. Perpetuating a tradition of topographic painting practiced during the late Ming, Gao produced works to supply the growing demand for mementos of Nanjing's fabled sights, including places with nostalgic links to the city's glory days under the Ming. A sensitive recorder of the familiar, Gao was also an innovative experimenter with light, atmosphere, and color whose art reflects a creative response to Western influences introduced by Jesuits such as Matteo Ricci (1552–1610). Gao's wistful, atmospheric landscapes are noteworthy for seamlessly fusing descriptive realism and poetic feeling to achieve exquisite evocations of place and mood.

Gao's works are rare today and this album, which captures aspects of Nanjing's scenery at different times of year and in varied weather conditions, is one of his finest. Dated to the peak period of his career, it combines lyrical suggestions of actual scenery with an evocation of antique styles.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 column in standard script, on the last leaf)

Gao Cen from the Stone Citadel [Nanjing] painted after ancient masters on a spring day in the dingwei year [1667].


Artist’s seal

Weisheng 蔚生

Inscription on wood cover

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated:

Related Objects

The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Three: Ji'nan to Mount Tai

Artist: Wang Hui (Chinese, 1632–1717) Date: datable to 1698 Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 1979.5a–d On view in:Gallery 216

Ink Landscapes with Poems

Artist: Gong Xian (Chinese, 1619–1689) Date: dated 1688 Medium: Album of sixteen paintings; ink on paper Accession: 1981.4.1a–o On view in:Not on view

Landscapes in the styles of old masters

Artist: Wang Jian (Chinese, 1609–1677 or 1688) Date: dated 1668 Medium: Album of ten paintings; ink and color on paper Accession: 1979.439a–o On view in:Gallery 216

Landscape album

Artist: Bada Shanren (Zhu Da) (Chinese, 1626–1705) Date: dated 1699 Medium: Album of twelve leaves; ink and color on paper Accession: 1989.363.138a–l On view in:Gallery 216

The Yellow Pavilion

Artist: Xia Yong (Chinese, active mid-14th century) Date: ca. 1350 Medium: Album leaf; ink on silk Accession: 1991.438.3 On view in:Gallery 213