(Chinese, c. 1308–1385)
Album leaf; ink and color on paper
Painting: 39.8 x 56.9 cm (15 11/16 x 22 3/8 in.); Overall: 67.6 x 71.4 cm (26 5/8 x 28 1/8 in.)
Bequest of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1997.94
Wang Meng, born into a distinguished family in Wuxing (modern Huzhou), Zhejiang province, was the maternal grandson of Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322). Aside from intermittent political commitments under the foreign Mongol and Ming governments, Wang dedicated most of his life to retirement, as conveyed in this painting. By the 1360s, when the Red Turbans began to rebel against the Yuan dynasty leaders, and the Mongols gradually lost control over Jiangnan, Wang Meng withdrew into the mountains north of Hangzhou, calling himself Woodcutter of Yellow Crane Mountain. In the early years of the Ming dynasty, Wang was caught up in a purge and died in prison.
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