Between 1356 and 1366 Ni Zan led a refugee's life, residing with his family southwest of Suzhou at a place he nicknamed the Snail's Hut. Compared to his Wuxi days, this was "another lifetime," but the family was able to settle down to an existence of "simple sustenance, harmony, and happiness." His paintings and calligraphy from this period are more assured and relaxed; consequently,they sometimes appear sketchy, a characteristic Ni consciously sought: "Try to do things in a sketchy manner. Develop forms with a free hand . . . by following your ideas and feelings."This painting, made for fellow scholar-artist Yu Kan (active 14th century), reflects Ni's spontaneous manner. Painted the same year Ni's wife died, it may also express the artist's growing sense of isolation. His inscription reads:On the riverbank, the evening tide begins to fall;The frost-covered leaves of the windblown grove are sparse.I lean on my staff—the brushwood gate is closed and silent;I think of my friend—the glow is nearly gone from the hills.DOCUMENTATIONArtist’s inscription and signature (4 columns in standard script)On the river bank, the evening tide begins to fall;The frost-covered leaves of the windblown grove are sparse.I lean on my staff – the brushwood gate is closed and silent;I think of my friend – the glow is nearly gone from the hills.On the fifteenth day of the ninth month in the guimao year of the Zhizheng era [October 22, 1363] I playfully painted this for Mr. Shengbo [Yu Kan, active ca. 1354] and composed a quatrain too. Ni Zan 江渚暮潮初落，風林霜葉渾稀。倚杖柴門閴寂，懷人山色依微。至正癸卯九月望日戲為勝伯徵君寫此并賦小詩。倪瓚 Label strip Wu Hufan 吳湖帆 (1894–1968), 1 column in standard script, dated 1938; 1 seal: Wind Among the Trees on the Riverbank, a genuine work by Ni Yunlin [Ni Zan] of the Yuan dynasty. In the spring of the wuyin year , Wu Hufan inscribed the label. [Seal]: Dongzhuang 元倪雲林《江渚風林圖》真跡，戊寅春吳湖帆題籤。 [印]：東莊 Colophon Yu Hang 俞沆 (active early 19th c.), 8 columns in standard script, dated 1826: Of the so-called Four Masters of the Yuan Dynasty, Yunlin [Ni Zan] was the purest in character. His painting and calligraphy, therefore, exhibit an untrammeled subtlety that is unrivaled in the past or the future. This painting for Shengbo, accompanied with a poem, shows his artistry even better. At that time, Yunlin was friends with Zhang Boyu [Zhang Yu, 1283-1350], Ke Jingzhong [Ke Jiusi, 1290-1343] and Wang Shuming [Wang Meng, 1308-1385], but was particularly close to Yu Shengbo, the eighth-generation descendant of Duke Yong[guo] [Yu Yunwen, 1110-1174]. That was why he painted this scroll, which naturally differed from his other works. It was at first in Xiang Molin’s [Xiang Yuanbian, 1525-1590] collection; then it went to Gao Jiangcun [Gao Shiqi, 1645-1704], and was recorded in his Xiaoxia lu. Sometime later it entered Miao Wenzi’s [Miao Yuezao, 1682-1761] collection. Last year [Lü] Songhuo (active early 19th c.), while traveling in Suzhou, traded a certain Ming calligraphic piece for this scroll. He brought it back and showed me, asking for an inscription to record its history. In the sixth year of the Daoguang era , during the last decade of the second month of the bingxu year, Zixian, Yu Hang, inscribed. 元時四逸，惟雲林氣節最高潔，故書畫得逸中妙趣，過去未來無與其匹。此幅為勝伯作，兼系以詩，益見精妙。蓋當時雲林相契張伯雨、柯敬仲、王叔明，虞勝伯則雍公八世孫，而與勝伯尤密，故有是作，較他幅又自不同也。原藏項墨林，後歸高江邨，載入《消夏錄》，不知何時而得繆文子收藏。去年松壑客吳門，以明人手澤易得之，携歸視余，并属題數言以記顛末。道光六年歲次丙戌仲春下澣子僊俞沆識。 Collectors’ seals Song Lian 宋濂 (1301–1381)Jinhua Song shi Jinglian 金華宋氏景濂 Xiang Yuanbian 項元汴 (1525–1590)Tianlai Ge 天籟閣Zijing 子京Molin miwan 墨林秘玩 Sun Chengze 孫承澤 (1592–1676)Beiping Sun shi 北平孫氏 Gao Shiqi 高士奇 (1645–1704)Bu yi san gong yi ciri 不以三公易此日Jianjing Zhai 簡靜齋Zhuchuang 竹窗 Wang Shu 王澍 (1668–1739)Wang Shu yin 王澍印 Miao Yuezao 繆曰藻 (1682–1761)Wumen Miao shi zhenshang 吳門繆氏珍賞Wenzi 文子 Lü Songhe 呂松壑 (active early 19th c. )Haiyang Lü Songhe jiancang 海陽呂松壑鋻藏 Zhu Rongjue 朱榮爵 (20th c.)Anwu Zhu Rongjue zi Jinghou suocang shuhua 安吳朱榮爵字靖侯所藏書畫Jinghou miji 靖侯秘笈Zisun baozhi 子孫寶之Ruyuan 如願Zisun baozhi 子孫寶之Yunsong Guan 雲松館 Gu Luofu 顧洛阜(John M. Crawford, Jr., 1913–1988)Gu Luofu 顧洛阜Hanguang Ge 漢光閣Hanguang Ge Zhu Gu Luofu jiancang Zhongguo gudai shuhua zhi zhang 漢光閣主顧洛阜鑑藏中國古代書畫之章 UnidentifiedShanghai Zhou Ziyu zhencang shuhua miji yin上海周子寓珍藏書畫秘笈印Kuaiji Waishi ?? 會稽外史囗囗  Translation from Department records. Translation from Department records.