Mountain Retreat, leaf from Album for Zhou Lianggong

Shi Lin Chinese

Not on view

This painting and its accompanying inscription belonged to an album made for the noted Nanjing collector and high official Zhou Lianggong (1612–1672). A leading patron of contemporary artists, Zhou assembled a number of these albums during the last twenty-five years of his life, when his career required him to travel extensively. Such collaborative works have long been a means for a group of artists to commemorate special occasions, but Zhou’s albums, which sometimes encompassed hundreds of contributions, fulfilled a different function: they included works by professionals and scholar-amateurs, Ming loyalists and Qing officials, traditionalist orthodox painters and innovative individualists. By inviting a wide spectrum of artists to both view and contribute to these albums, Zhou created a unique forum for artists to learn from and appraise one another’s productions.

Mountain Retreat,  leaf from Album for Zhou Lianggong, Shi Lin (Chinese, active ca. 1630–60), Leaf from a collective album of many leaves; ink and color on paper, China

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