In this long handscroll, Shen Zhou explored four Yuan painters' brush idioms-those of Ni Zan (1306–1374), Huang Gongwang (1269–1354), Wang Meng (ca. 1308–1385), and Wu Zhen (1280–1354). Beginning with the familiar Ni Zan image of sparse trees, barren rocks, and an empty pavilion, Shen Zhou developed Ni's angular "folded-belt" texture strokes into a longer texture pattern that signaled the style of Huang Gongwang and an expansive change of mood. Then, with his brush tip turned inward to form round, dense, curling, and stippled texture strokes, Shen created rock forms that contained the controlled energy of those by Wang Meng. Finally, using simple round brushstrokes to represent rolling shores and blunt and stocky trees, he evoked the serene and melancholy mood of Wu Zhen.By practicing the different brush idioms of the Yuan masters, Shen was able to treat the theme of autumn mountains with a wide range of expressive moods and interpretations.