Autumn Mountains in the Style of Ni Zan

Artist: Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1704
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 95.9 x 50.6 cm (37 3/4 x 19 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

autumn, China, landscape, mountain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
Provenance research underway.

Wang Yuanqi, a scholar and court official, was also a painter whose works were highly appreciated by the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) emperors and courtiers.  Known for his intellectual approach to painting, which often incorporates styles and motifs from the past, Wang Yuanqi influenced court taste in painting.  According to the artist's inscription, Autumn Mountains was inspired by the tranquil, plain style of the painter Ni Zan (1301-1374), whose work also provided the model for dividing the landscape into two discrete sections with open space (water) between them.  Wang's rhythmic brushwork and his masterful use of colored washes, however, created a work that is recognizably his own.

Landscape paintings by Wang Yuanqi typically incorporate inscriptions, as seen here. The inscriptions were actually written at different times; the comment in the middle with red impressions of the artist's seals at right and left was composed when Wang executed the painting.  Later he wrote a poem (far right) and an explanatory comment (far left).

Published References
  • Jean-Pierre Dubosc. Mostra d'arte Cinese: Catalogo. Exh. cat. Venice. cat. 868.
  • Laurence Sickman, Jean-Pierre Dubosc. Great Chinese Painters of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, XV to XVIII Centuries: A Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of the Asia Institute, March 11 to April 2, 1949. Exh. cat. New York. cat. 52.
  • Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku [Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. vol. 1: p. 249.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. 7 vols., New York and London, 1956-1958. vol. 7: pl. 425.
  • Instituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente. Mostra di pitture cinesi delle dinastie Ming e Ch'ing. Exh. cat. Rome. cat. 53.
  • Victoria Contag. Chinese Masters of the 17th Century. Rutland, Vermont. pl. 80.
  • James Cahill. Chinese Painting. Treasures of Asia Geneva and Cleveland. p. 166.
  • John B. Henderson. The Development and Decline of Chinese Cosmology. Neo-Confucian Studies New York. p. 230.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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