Liang Kai (Chinese, active first half of 13th century)
Fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on silk
9 x 9 9/16 in. (22.9 x 24.3 cm)
Signed: "Liang Kai"
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.14)
Liang Kai served as a painter-in-attendance at the Song painting academy in Hangzhou from about 1201 to 1204; he later relinquished that prestigious position to live and paint at a Chan (or Zen, in Japanese) Buddhist temple. Like his best known paintings, preserved mostly in Japanese collections, this small landscape conveys a spiritual intensity typical of Liang's works. Under the great cliff, in the stillness of the landscape, a solitary figure meditates on the illusory world before him.