A scion of a branch of the Ming imperial family, Baba Shanren became a "crazy" Buddhist monk, feigning deafness in order to escape persecution after the Ming dynasty fell to Manchu conquest in 1644. Like his cousin Shitao (Zhu Ruoji), he became an extraordinary painter, known for an expessionist calligraphic style.In these album-size landscapes, Baba has adopted traditional themes and compositions as points of departure for his own creative improvisations. In several leaves, the sparse composition, dry brushwork, and carefully selected motifs—bare trees and an empty pavilion—allude to the late Yuan hermit-artist Ni Zan (1306–1374). Elsewhere, diagonally receding mountain masses made of simplified ovoid and cone-shaped rock forms derive from the landscape style of Dong Qichang (1555–1636). In each case, however, Baba transmuted his models, playing with spatially ambiguous patterns or adding human figures or color when least expected.