Three Perils Mountain

Three Perils Mountain

三危山圖

1941

Zhang Daqian 張大千

(Chinese, 1899-1983)

Hanging scroll, ink and light color on paper

Painting: 96.5 x 33 cm (38 x 13 in.); Overall: 212 x 51.4 cm (83 7/16 x 20 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2007.197

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Description

In 1941, Zhang Daqian went to northwestern China to expand his understanding of Chinese art history by studying the rich tradition of religious wall painting. He surveyed the Buddhist cave paintings at Dunhuang and made more than two hundred high-quality facsimiles in less than three years.

As a break from the facsimile work in the dark caves, Zhang lifted his eyes to the Three Perils Mountain 三危山 in the distance. This landscape painting was a return to literati-style compositions and techniques, very unlike the figure paintings with fine curving outlines and colorful pigments that Zhang had been tirelessly studying and reproducing.

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