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Landscapes and poems

Xiang Shengmo Chinese

Not on view

Xiang Shengmo grew up surrounded by the art collection amassed by his grandfather, Xiang Yuanbian, one of the preeminent collectors of painting and calligraphy in Chinese history. He saw these treasures early and often, and by the time he began to paint, the styles of the old masters were ingrained in his hand and mind. His training was deepened by interaction with those who came to study the collection, including the peerless Dong Qichang (1555–1636). In this album, which features the artist’s poetry paired with his paintings, he does not identify specific old-master styles by name, but the diversity of manners reflects the encyclopedic knowledge afforded by his fortunate upbringing. There is no doubt that Xiang expected knowledgeable viewers of his day to recognize subtle references to famous styles and even specific paintings.

Landscapes and poems, Xiang Shengmo (Chinese, 1597–1658), Album of twenty leaves; ink and color on paper, China

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