Summer Mountains (after Dong Yuan [active about ad 937-975])

Summer Mountains (after Dong Yuan [active about ad 937-975])

1290-1354

attributed to Huang Gongwang

(Chinese, 1269-1354)

Hanging scroll, ink and slight color on silk

Image: 131.7 x 55.6 cm (51 7/8 x 21 7/8 in.); Overall: 257.4 x 71.2 cm (101 5/16 x 28 1/16 in.)

Cornelia Blakemore Warner Bequest, by exchange, and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1992.1

Description

This monumental landscape is drawn in softly rounded strokes with darker lines frequently applied on top of lighter ones. This technique recalls one of the suggestions included in a collection of the artist's writings known as Secrets of Landscape Painting: The most difficult thing in painting is using the ink. The artist begins by using dilute ink and builds it up to the point where it begins to look right, then uses dense, black ink, applied fairly dry, and washes of deeper-toned ink. This technique distinguishes the fields from the paths, the far from the near. Huang Gongwang may have learned this technique from observing nature through the eyes of an earlier master, Dong Yuan, a painter whose style he shared.

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