Winter landscape with fisherman

Shi Zhong Chinese

Not on view

A professional painter from Nanjing, Shi Zhong was noted for his eccentric manner and unrestrained style of painting. Employing a dazzling combination of pale ink washes, dark outlines, and texture strokes, Shi's spontaneous execution led him to favor winter scenery in which his scratchy trees and jagged rocks would stand forth against the unpainted white of the paper background.

On this work, the artist, who signs himself "Old Fool," has added an enigmatic poem suggesting that his spontaneous style represents an effort to attain an unencumbered naturalness:

The Hall of the Xiang River immortal is as clean as water,
May my brush be as truthful as that of an old fool.
It seems that the waterfalls and rocks can avoid vulgarity,
I, too, know that in attaining samadhi [enlightenment]
one may achieve the divine.

Winter landscape with fisherman, Shi Zhong (Chinese, 1438–after 1506), Hanging scroll; ink on paper, China

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