Panorama of Mount Lu
- Chang Dai-chien (1899-1983), Republican period
- Handscroll, ink and colors on paper, 178.5 x 994.6 cm
Chang Dai-chien, a native of Neijiang in Sichuan, early studied under Zeng Xi (1861-1930) and Li Ruiqing (1867-1920), establishing a foundation in traditional painting and calligraphy. During the War of Resistance against the Japanese, he also traveled to Dunhuang, where he copied wall paintings and further enhanced his skills in art. After the age of sixty, he combined the arts of East and West by creating a new realm of splashed ink and colors, which he based on traditional Chinese brush methods.
This painting, donated to the National Palace Museum by the family of Chang Dai-chien, is the largest that Chang did over the course of his career and also a great masterpiece of his late years. Completed after nineteen months, from 1981 to 1983, it may not be a faithful description of the actual scenery but represents nonetheless the culmination of his lifetime in painting and experiencing the land. The brush and ink literally dance across the surface, combining the techniques of splashed colors and broad "sketching ideas." The arrangement in the painting is majestic and truly emits a great spirit that pulsates through the peaks depicted here.
The Vast Expanse of the Yellow River
- Lu Fo-ting (1911-2005), Republican period
- Handscroll, ink and colors on paper, 66.7 x 5106.7 cm
Lu Fo-ting, a native of Miyang in Henan, studied Buddhism for years and took the self-styled sobriquet Banseng, which means "Half Monk." He arrived in Taiwan in 1948 and taught at Taichung Normal College, excelling most at landscape painting. Starting from the 1960s, Lu produced four major masterpieces ("The Vast Expanse of the Great Wall," "The Vast Expanse of the Yangtze River," "Long Handscroll of the Cross-Island Highway," and the painting on display here), all of which focus on grand views.
"The Vast Expanse of the Yellow River" was bequeathed to the National Palace Museum by the artist himself, Lu Fo-ting. The entire length of this handscroll is an astonishing 51 meters, the brushwork throughout featuring delicate yet decisive brushwork as well as simple but classical coloring. It describes in detail the majestic scenery of the Yellow River over the course of its more than 4,600 kilometers. The painting took two years and four months to complete, from 1983 to 1985, by which time the artist was already 75 years old by Chinese reckoning.