Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day

Zhao Yuan Chinese

Not on view

Zhao Yuan was a member of Suzhou literary circles and a close friend of many late Yuan scholar-painters, including Ni Zan (1306-1374) and Wang Meng (ca. 1308-1385).

Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day is painted in a style similar to that of Wang Meng. Wang's powerfully expressive brushwork here becomes a vivacious pictorial surface. Zhao's use of dots is especially remarkable; varying in size, shape, darkness, and touch, they not only serve a representational function but also effectively control the overall texture and tonality of the painting. Zhao Yuan's career, like that of many other notable Jiangnan painters, was cut short by the first Ming emperor (r. 1368-98), a man of humble origins who was deeply suspicious of the Suzhou intelligentsia. After summoning Zhao to Nanjing to serve as a painter, the emperor took offense at something Zhao did and had him executed.

#7686. Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day

Farewell by a Stream on a Clear Day, Zhao Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1350–75), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, China

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