Lofty Scholar among Streams and Mountains, in the manner of Juran

Wang Jian Chinese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 210

The Orthodox school master Wang Jian seldom painted figures or architecture. In this painting, however, Wang, who claims in his inscription to have been inspired by a work of the same title by Juran (act. ca. 960–95), has depicted a scholar seated in a handsome two-story studio overlooking an expanse of river. The idea of a mountain retreat also recalls Wang Wei's (699–759) Wangchuan Villa.

The mountain forms, made with round "hemp-fiber" texture strokes and rich "alum-head" moss dots, are characteristic of the Juran brush idiom as interpreted by the Yuan master Wu Zhen (1280–1354). By executing the round arcs of these strokes in a rhythmical manner, Wang Jian invented the undulating compositional movements that his pupil Wang Hui (1632–1717) developed into the so-called dragon-vein principle.

Lofty Scholar among Streams and Mountains, in the manner of Juran, Wang Jian (Chinese, 1609–1677/88), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, China

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