Poet strolling by a marshy bank

Artist: Liang Kai (Chinese, active early 13th century)

Period: Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

Date: early 13th century

Culture: China

Medium: Fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on silk

Dimensions: Image: 9 x 9 9/16 in. (22.9 x 24.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988

Accession Number: 1989.363.14


Liang Kai served as a painter-in-attendance at the Song Imperial Painting Academy in Hangzhou from about 1201 to 1204; he relinquished that prestigious position to live and paint at a Chan (Zen in Japanese) Buddhist temple. Like his best-known paintings, preserved mostly in Japanese collections, this small landscape conveys a spiritual intensity. Under the great cliff, in the stillness of the landscape, a solitary figure meditates on the illusory world before him.