Landscapes after old masters

Yun Xiang Chinese

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Hailed as "the foremost painter after Shen Zhou [1427-1509]" by the collector-critic Zhou Lianggong (1612-1672), Yun Xiang was an influential forerunner of such leading early Qing Nanjing painters as Gong Xian (1619-1689).

Living in retirement after the Manchu conquest as an yimin, or "leftover subject," of the Ming, Yun Xiang especially admired the dry-brush manner of Ni Zan (1306-1374), the archetypal reclusive scholar-painter of the late Yuan period. Three of the ten paintings in this virtuoso album, in which Yun Xiang interprets a wide range of earlier masters' styles through remarkable variations in brushwork and compositional motifs, were inspired by Ni Zan. The methods of interpretation, bearing the unmistakable influence of the late Ming theorist-painter Dong Qichang (1555-1636), were further developed by Gong Xian and other leading early Qing masters in the late seventeenth century.

Landscapes after old masters, Yun Xiang (Chinese, 1586–1655), Album of ten leaves; ink and color on paper, China

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