Song dynasty AD960-1279

Yan Wengui (967-1044)

Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees

Gallery107

Dates2020/01/23 ~ 2020/04/23

Exhibition nameSpotlight on National Treasures

Song dynasty AD960-1279

Yan Wengui (967-1044)

Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees

Album leaf, ink and colors on silk, 24.5 x 26 cm

 

This painting depicts the scenery of high mountains with distant peaks that appear above clouds and a rising foreground enveloped in the mist. The three groups of mountain forms skillfully echo each other, and the blank areas of clouds and mist highlight them further. Despite the small size of the painting, it nonetheless gives the effect of a broad and vast vista. The faceting of the rocks in particular was created using many texture strokes and added washes that form the surface texture, the brushwork here similar to that of Li Tang (ca. 1070-after 1150). It would thus stylistically make this work a transitional piece between Li Tang’s “Wind in Pines Among a Myriad Valleys” and “Intimate Scenery of River and Mountains,” which are also in the National Palace Museum collection. This album leaf bears neither seal nor signature of the artist, the traditional label giving the present title and attribution to Yan Wengui. However, stylistic comparison shows it to be unrelated to Yan, a court painter active in the Northern Song period. Rather, it is judged to probably be a fine work of the early Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) influenced by Li Tang.

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