Painting in National Palace Museum, Yuan dynasty part1
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of paintings from the Yuan dynasty! Here you can explore some of the most incredible works of art from this period, including Manual of Ink Bamboo by Wu Zhen, Meeting Friends in a Pavilion among Pines by Wang Yuan, Cloud-girdled Peaks by Gao Kegong, Pair of Lohan Paintings, Riverside Pavilion and Mountain Hues by Ni Zan, Inscribing a Portrait of Ni Zan, Wild Duck by a River by Chen Lin, Nymph of the Luo River by Wei Jiuding, Five Horses by Zhao Yong, and Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains by Zhao Mengfu. These works are all masterpieces of Chinese painting, and they provide us with an invaluable glimpse into the culture and history of the Yuan dynasty. Come take a look at these amazing artifacts today!
1. Manual of Ink Bamboo
Wu Zhen, a native of Jiaxing with the style name Zhonggui and the sobriquet Meihua ("Plum Blossom") daoren, was one of the Four Great Masters of the Yuan. This album was done in 1350 by Wu at the age of 71 by Chinese reckoning for his son, Fonu. It depicts all manners of bamboo, including new shoots, old stalks, and leaves in wind, rain, and even snow.
2. Meeting Friends in a Pavilion among Pines
Wang Yuan was a native of Qiantang in Zhejiang. He started painting as a child and once received instruction from the master Zhao Mengfu. Wang followed the tenth-century tradition of Huang Quan, and in landscapes that of Guo Xi in the eleventh century. Wang Yuan (style name Ruoshui, sobriquet Danxuan), a native of Qiantang in Zhejiang, started painting as a child and once received instruction from the master Zhao Mengfu In bird-and-flower painting, Wang followed the tenth-century tradition of Huang Quan, and in landscapes that of Guo Xi in the eleventh century In figure painting, he followed the Tang dynasty style, in all the above achieving marvelous results This painting features a level-distance composition with two tall pines in the middle reaching far upwards In the foreground is a thatched pavilion by the water with two scholars inside Behind the treetops are seen sailboats in the distance following the wind The painting as a whole has a pure and remote tranquility, the brushwork mature and reserved but with a fitting touch of liveliness Each stroke is solidly placed without a hint of reservation, making it equal to that of Song dynasty artists The surviving works by Wang Yuan are mostly bird-and-flower subjects in monochrome ink, this being a rare and excellent example of his landscape painting He completed it in the Zhizheng seventh year (1347)
3. Cloud-girdled Peaks
The ancestors of Gao Kegong (style name Yanjing, sobriquet Fangshan) came from Western Asia. Gao rose to Minister of Justice in the Yuan dynasty under the Mongols. Gao served in office in the Jiangnan area and resided in Hangzhou, having the opportunity to appreciate scenic wonders of the south and to maintain close relations with scholars there. TITLE: ORIGINAL_TEXT: SUMMARY: The ancestors of Gao Kegong (style name Yanjing, sobriquet Fangshan) came from Western Asia, and Gao rose to Minister of Justice in the Yuan dynasty under the Mongols He also served in office in the Jiangnan area and resided in Hangzhou, having the opportunity to appreciate scenic wonders of the south and to maintain close relations with scholars there This painting depicts a massive mountain rising in the center, much in the monumental style of Northern Song landscape painting A winding stream, floating clouds, and rounded peaks with extending banks below give the effect of gentle scenery in the south portrayed more than two centuries earlier by Mi Fu and his son Mi Youren The painting therefore has characteristics of both northern and southern traditions of landscape painting Furthermore, the classical archaic blue-and-green coloring adds a vibrant touch of life to the brush and ink The scroll as a whole reflects the archaistic movement in early Yuan dynasty art, the style a synthesis of various important traditions in Chinese painting history to make this a classical landscape paradigm of Gao Kegong
4. Pair of Lohan Paintings
The painting is a pair of scrolls with eighteen lohans, or Buddhist worthies. The painting is a Yuan dynasty religious painting. The painting is a superb example of Yuan dynasty religious painting.
5. Riverside Pavilion and Mountain Hues
Ni Zan excelled at landscape and ink bamboo painting, his calligraphy also pure and marvelous. He is ranked along with Huang Gongwang, Wu Zhen, and Wang Meng as one of the Four Yuan Masters This painting from the year 1372 is inscribed with poetry that Ni Zan wrote himself. Done for his friend Huanbo, it is a typical example of the "Three Perfections" of painting, poetry, and calligraphy in a single work and a literati painting for a friend in the know The composition here is more complex than in Ni's earlier works, skillfully intersecting the slopes and branches to lead the viewer's eye into the remote distance for a sense of desolation in autumn woods. Despite the independent appearance of dots, washes, texturing, and brush scrubbing on the paper, all come together as a cohesive whole Complemented by dry ink and desiccated textures using a slanted brush, it creates for an atmosphere of clarity, brittleness, desolation, and high antiquity--a reflection almost of Ni Zan's own obsession with cleanliness
6. Inscribing a Portrait of Ni Zan
The painting is a portrait of Ni Zan, one of the Four Yuan Masters of painting. The landscape on the screen behind is also intentionally done in imitation of Ni's style. The pose of the figure is also borrowed from that of Vimalakirti in Buddhist painting, transforming the image of Ni Zan into that of a refined and lofty recluse.
7. Wild Duck by a River
Chen Lin, a native of Hangzhou in Zhejiang, was a close associate of Zhao Mengfu and, like him, a famous painter from the late Song into the Yuan dynasty. This small hanging scroll depicts a mallard standing on a riverbank below some hibiscus. Based on the contents of Qiu Yuan's (1247-1326) colophon on the inscription paper mounted above the work, we learn that Chen Lin painted on the spur of the moment when visiting the Songxue Studio of Zhao Mengfu during autumn. Zhao even added a few strokes to the painting as well
8. Nymph of the Luo River
This scroll is done in "baimiao" fine ink lines to depict the goddess of the Luo River riding mysteriously on clouds and gliding over ripples of misty river waters. Compared to the more complex narrative of other depictions, this painting focuses almost solely on the goddess, the scenery especially lofty and archaic. The only painting by Wei Jiuding in the National Palace Museum collection, this is a rare and especially precious work. TITLE: ORIGINAL_TEXT: SUMMARY: Wei Jiuding (style name Mingxuan), a native of Tiantai in Zhejiang, excelled at landscape, figure, and "ruled-line" painting This scroll is done in "baimiao" fine ink lines to depict the goddess of the Luo River riding mysteriously on clouds and gliding over ripples of misty river waters Her supple yet decisive and flowing robes flutter in the wind like a twisting dragon ascending to the heavens, fully exhibiting the deity's spirited and otherworldly beauty Compared to the more complex narrative of other depictions, this painting focuses almost solely on the goddess, the scenery especially lofty and archaic Behind is a large area of void, at the left are traces of the original paper removed, and at the right is an inscription by the famous contemporary artist Ni Zan The distance at the top has a few strokes of the brush to suggest rolling peaks, but stylistically they appear to have been added by another hand The only painting by Wei Jiuding in the National Palace Museum collection, this is a rare and especially precious work
9. Five Horses
Zhao Yong, the second son of the famous scholar-artist Zhao Mengfu, followed the footsteps of his father in painting and calligraphy. Zhao Yong was especially gifted at depicting figures and saddled horses. This painting, dated to the equivalent of 1352, depicts horses at leisure and a groom dozing against a pine to highlight the relaxed atmosphere.