Scholar viewing a waterfall

Artist: Ma Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1190–1225)

Period: Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

Date: late 12th–early 13th century

Culture: China

Medium: Album leaf; ink and color on silk

Dimensions: Image: 9 7/8 x 10 1/4 in. (25.1 x 26 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of The Dillon Fund, 1973

Accession Number: 1973.120.9


Ma Yuan, a fourth-generation member of a family of painters, was a leading artist at the Southern Song painting academy in Hangzhou.
A city of unsurpassed beauty, Hangzhou was graced with pavilions, gardens, and scenic vistas. In this album leaf, which shows a gentleman in a gardenlike setting, the jagged rhythms of the pine tree and garden contrast with the quiet mood of the scholar, who gazes pensively into the bubbling rapids of the cascade.