Strolling in a Misty Valley

Mei Qing Chinese

Not on view

Mei Qing was born into a prominent family in Xuancheng, Anhui Province, about seventy-five miles south of Nanjing. Mei followed the family tradition of scholarship. By age sixteen he had become a prefectural-level student (zhusheng), and in 1642 he published his first collection of poems. He lived in retirement during the first decade of the Qing dynasty.

Strolling in a Misty Valley is Mei’s earliest extant work, done shortly after he moved to a new family residence in a scenic area south of Xuancheng. The painting shows him working in the dry, linear style typical of a number of late Ming painters, with angular rock formations and craggy pines loosely organized along a serpentine stream. Its style vaguely recalls the landscape forms of Huang Gongwang (1269–1354) and the spare brush idiom of Ni Zan (1306–1374). Painted just five years after the fall of the Ming dynasty, its allusions to these recluse-artists, who lived under the Mongol Yuan dynasty, clearly signal Mei’s own situation and loyalist sentiments.

Above the peaks, Mei inscribed a poem and dedication:

In the valley clouds and mist often obscure one’s view,
I am pleased that the pines and rocks in front of my door are peaceful.
My song over, I drag my staff along as I cross the stream;
My picture captures the green mountains, I look upon it with satisfaction.

On an autumn day in the jichou year [1649],
I present this to my teacher Old Li for his instruction.
The Daoist of Qushan, Mei Qing

Strolling in a Misty Valley, Mei Qing (Chinese, 1623–1697), Hanging scroll; ink on satin, China

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.