清 王槩 設計,李漁出版 芥子園畫傳 版本
Landscape after Ni Zan (1306–1374), from the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting

Artist:
Designed by Wang Gai (Chinese, 1645–1710)
Artist:
After Ni Zan (Chinese, 1306–1374)
Date:
First edition, 1679
Culture:
China
Medium:
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
9 5/8 x 11 13/16 in. (24.4 x 30 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
CP10
Not on view
In 1679, the author Li Yu published a primer for aspiring landscape painters called the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, and he commissioned the versatile painter Wang Gai to provide designs for the illustrations. The first edition features volumes on the components of landscape painting—trees, rocks, and human figures—with instructions on how to draw different types of each. It also includes two volumes of landscapes in the styles of old masters, which show readers how to transform what they have learned into their own historically minded compositions.

The manual transmitted the fashion for studying old masters' styles beyond the rarified elite circles that had given rise to the practice, and it went on to become the most widely used introduction to painting not only in China, but in Korea and Japan as well. Subsequent editions added flowers as a subject and expanded sections on human figures. It remains in use today across the world.
Inscription: Poem
[ Bertha Bull Lum , Iowa, until 1924; sold to MMA]