Handscroll; ink and color on paper
Painting section: 24 x 341.5 cm (9 7/16 x 134 7/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1960.182
Escaping to a Better World: Eccentrics and Immortals in Chinese Art (Chinese art rotation)
Cheng Zhengkui planned to make 100 dream journey paintings but may have ultimately made 500.
Cliffs and waterfalls interspersed with trees and dotted vegetation are spread over this handscroll. Long paths wind their way through villages, beside cottages, shrines, and over bridges. In the past, Chinese literati officials liked to take a “dream journey” along mountains and rivers when viewing landscape paintings in their studios. Scenery of this kind thus became a way to escape from the world of bureaucracy and administration. The painter Cheng Zhengkui used the title “Dream Journey” for a whole series of paintings, of which this is number 90. He is said to have painted 500 of them, but the actual count remains unknown.
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