Snow Coloring the World White

Snow Coloring the World White

1690

Fa Ruozhen 法若真

(Chinese, 1613-1696)

Handscroll, ink on paper

Image: 29.3 x 297.2 cm (11 9/16 x 117 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1979.76

Location

Description

Fa Ruozhen was a scholar-official and prolific poet who focused on painting as his government career declined. The inscription records that he was 78 years old when he painted this handscroll to welcome visitors on a snowy day. At this point in his artistic development, Fa created expressive landscapes and experimented with unconventional brushwork. This handscroll begins at the right with gentle hills dotted with evergreens and bare deciduous trees. By the end, the twisting rocky forms dominate.

Fa’s official career spanned the fall of the Han Chinese Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and the rise of the Manchurian Qing dynasty (1644–1911). While other scholar-officials who declined to serve the Manchus had their reputations enhanced, critics accused Fa of disloyalty for serving in the new bureaucracy. Fa was deeply sensitive about this criticism. In many of his 4,000 known poems, he responded by emphasizing the Confucian virtue of being a good administrator particularly during an unstable time. Fa’s “disorderly” brushwork and distressed landscapes seem to reflect the political upheaval of his era.

See also
Collection: 
ASIAN - Handscroll
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Painting

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.