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(Chinese, c. 1185–after 1260)
Album leaf; ink on silk
Image: 25.1 x 25.3 cm (9 7/8 x 9 15/16 in.); with mat: 33.3 x 40.5 cm (13 1/8 x 15 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1961.421.1
Poem and painting, once mounted together as one fan, exemplify the collaboration between imperial patron and court painter. Emperor Lizong’s calligraphy cites a verse from Wang Wei’s (701–761) poem, Walking to where the water ends, I sit and watch when clouds arise.
Ma Lin’s response is this painting. At the water’s edge, a scholar reclines by a large rock. The view leads across the empty middle ground to a distant mountain. With sparse ink and subtly graded washes, Ma Lin visualizes the poetic verse. The painting suggests the impact of Chan aesthetics through interaction between the palace, literati-officials, and monasteries around Hangzhou.
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