Spring Morning in the Mountains

Xie Shichen Chinese

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Not on view

The paintings of Xie Shichen share features with both those of the Zhe-school professionals and those of the Suzhou scholar-artists. His "hemp-fiber" texture strokes and dark foliage dots derive from the work of the eminent Suzhou amateur Shen Zhou (1427–1509), but his monumental compositions, narrative subject matter, and bold brushwork owe more to the Nanjing professional Wu Wei (1459–1508).

In this painting, a pair of scholars on a spring outing have paused to admire a blossoming plum tree that grows beneath the sheltering branches of an ancient pine. The nearby mountain torrent flows out of a deep valley, where dense white clouds obscure the lower halves of precipitous peaks, including the towering central monolith whose position along the painting's vertical axis serves as an anchor to the entire composition. To the left of the peak, Xie inscribed a seven-character quatrain along with his signature.

Spring Morning in the Mountains, Xie Shichen (Chinese, 1487–ca. 1567), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, China

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