Following the fall of Beijing to the bandit-rebel Li Zicheng in April 1644, Nanjing suffered a chaotic year of warfare between a Ming loyalist regime and the attacking Manchu forces. This album was painted in August 1644 as the Ming dynasty was crumbling.In creating these idyllic images of the world of the recluse, Zhang Feng turned to the pale dry style of Ni Zan (1306–1374), but the gossamer lightness of Zhang's touch adds a new lyrical charm to Ni's style. Keenly interested in language, Zhang explores the expressive interplay of visual and poetic imagery in fresh and insightful ways: one leaf describes the murmur of pines and the sound of water running over rocks; another evokes the echoes of a stone tossed into a deserted valley; a third features a sunset, a subject rarely depicted by scholar-artists but one that may have held deep symbolic meaning for Zhang. He remained loyal to the Ming dynasty after the Manchu conquest and, refusing to take an official position under the new regime, ended his life in poverty.DOCUMENTATIONARTIST’S INSCRIPTIONSLeaf A (4 columns in standard script): This looks somewhat like the entrance to the “Peach Blossom Spring,” but it isn't. Dafeng水口略類桃源而非也。大風 Leaf B (1 column in standard script):Imitating Ni [Zan, 1306–1374]倣倪。 Leaf C (dated 1644, 6 columns in standard script):The worldly red dusts do not rise at my front door.Green trees stand just right to conceal the corners of my house,Blue mountains nicely fill in the breach atop my garden wall. These lines are musical lyrics by a Yuan dynasty master [i.e. Ma Zhiyuan, ca. 1260–1324]. It seems that I should use the water-and-tree method to paint this well, yet the result is clumsy everywhere—an embarrassing embodiment of Zhang Juqu’s [Zhang Yu, 1283–1350] phrase “beating the side of a drum.” On the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month of the jiashen year [August 8, 1644]. 紅塵不向門前惹，綠樹偏宜屋角遮，青山正補牆頭缺。元人填詞也。似宜作水樹法為得，而大概亦夯工處處，媿張句曲“擊鼓邊”一語。甲申七夕。 Leaf D (1 column in standard script):Chiming from the cloud, sails in the wind.雲磬風帆。 Leaf E (5 columns in standard script): The painting does not have a prescribed title. Once there is a title, the place changes. [The subject] seems to be listening to the rushing mountain brook. It is fine if you think [the title is] “Bright moon shines through the pines; clear spring flows across the rocks.” [a couplet from a poem by Wang Wei, 701–761] Mr. Beijin must be thinking that I paint with the method of composing examination papers. Have a laugh! On the last day of the sixth month [August 1].畫無命題，題在處移，似聽澗響耳，若以為“明月松間炤，清泉石上流”亦可。北覲兄必以為大風於此道亦用時文法也，一笑。六月晦日。 Leaf G (6 columns in standard script):It pains me to be unable to [make my painting] light (dan) to that extent. Though trying my best to emulate it, in the end my brushwork remains cumbersome. On the tenth day of the seventh month [August 11], while raining. Dafeng余苦不能淡至此，其亟力摹擬，然終是筆繁。七月十日雨中。大風Leaf K (1 Column in standard script):Sunset over the mountains.夕陽在山。 Leaf L (9 columns in standard script):Mr. Beijin presented this album to me for paintings. It happened that I just read Yuan Zhonglang’s [Yuan Hongdao, 1568–1610] collected writings, and liked his couplet: “Someone emerges out of a cave at the bottom of a waterfall; the sound of tossed pebbles in the mountain is heard in the village nearby.” I therefore made a painting of it, suspecting that I vaguely captured eighty or ninety percent of his idea. Your junior Zhang Feng casually inscribed this in the Fledging Crow Studio [Ruya Xuan].北覲兄以冊子見投，偶讀袁中郎集，因喜“澗底有人穿洞出，山間投礫隔村聞”之句，輒為圖，似恍恍疑得八九。小弟張風漫識於乳鴉軒。Artist's sealsFeng 風 (Leaf A, B, C, D, F, I, J, K, L)Zhang Feng 張風 (Leaf E, H)Zhang Feng 張風 (Leaf G)Frontispiece Zhang Daqian 張大千(1899–1983), 5 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1968 (by seal); 4 seals:The Dafeng Tang Studio respectfully preserves the twelve-leaf album by Shangyuan Laoren [Zhang Feng]. An unrivaled masterpiece of the divine class, the one and only in the world. Yuan, Dhūta [Sanskrit for mendicant monk]. [seals]: Wushen, Zhang Yuan siyin, Daqian, Bade Yuan 大風堂供養上元老人《山水冊》十二頁。無上神品，人間孤本。爰，杜多 [印]:戊申, 張爰私印, 大千, 八德園Colophons 1. An Zhiyuan 安致遠 (act. ca. 1645–84), 9 columns in standard script; 1 seal [Leaf M]:余以乙未春赴燕京，夜宿單橋，挑燈讀壁上詩，見有所書“菩薩蠻”詞一首，字大於升，醉旭顛芾筆意如在。余依其韻而和之，今勿勿十年矣。壁上雖題姓字，然余以僻處海上，竟不知大風為何如人。今於櫟老夫子署中得悉大風生平，且以大風手蹟見示，老氣披紛，颯颯紙上，覺尺幅間如見張鎬鬚眉也。後學安致遠題。 [印]：靜子 2. You Yin 尤蔭 (1732–1812), 10 columns in standard/semi-cursive script, dated 1781; 1 seal [Leaf M]:國初上元張大飌先生作畫，落筆澹遠，惜墨如金，不可多覯，真逸品也。余曩昔游學白下，過從蘧園、隨園之間，時向藏賞家寓目一二，煙雲過眼，不能去諸懷抱。然如此冊之繭絲牛毛，細筋入骨，澹若秋雲，靜如止水，更上一層矣。令人躁心頓盡，師化工者耶，莫能名其狀矣。時在乾隆辛丑五月廿日，為予五十生日。數日前，向蠡塘舅岳假歸石銚山房，細細展閱臥遊將十晨夕，可為不虛度矣。廿七日時雨新霽，好風清暑，因棹一舟，從江上送還東薌草堂，如行畫中也，舅岳其善寶之。水邨樵人尤蔭跋。[印]：貢父Collectors’ seals1. Zhang Shanzi 張善子 (1882–1940) Shanzi shending 善子審定 Leaf E 2. Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983)Dafeng Tang 大風堂 Leaf ANiyan 昵燕 Leaf BDafeng Tang 大風堂 Leaf CDaqian yandi 大千眼底 Leaf D Daqian Jushi 大千居士 Leaf FDaqian 大千 Leaf GZhang Yuan 張爰 Leaf HDaqian 大千 Leaf HCang zhi Daqian 藏之大千 Leaf IZhang Yuan zhi yin 張爰之印 Leaf JDaqian 大千 Leaf J Dafeng Tang 大風堂 Leaf KYuan yin爰印 Leaf LWushen 戊申 Leaf NZhang Yuan siyin 張爰私印 Leaf NDaqian 大千 Leaf NBade Yuan 八德園 Leaf N 3. He Guanwu 何冠五 (20th c.)Guanwu zhencang 冠五珍藏 Leaf ETianxi Shuwu jiancang 田溪書屋鑑藏 Leaf GTianxi Shuwu 田溪書屋 Leaf I1. Translations by Shi-yee Liu.