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Misty River, Layered Peaks

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Period: 1620, Taichang reign (1620), Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Medium: ink and color on silk
Date: 1620, Taichang reign (1620), Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Calligrapher(s): Shen Shi (b. 1593)

Dimensions: 28.3 cm × 112 cm

Misty River, Layered Peaks (Yanjiang diezhang tu) by Wang Shen (ca. 1048–after 1104, courtesy name Jinqing) is a quintessential work of Song-dynasty (960–1279) blue and green landscape painting. After appreciating the work, Su Shi (1037–1101) wrote the renowned colophon “Wang Jinqing’s Misty River, Layered Peaks in the Collection of Wang Dingguo” (which refers to Wang Gong, ca. 1048 – ca. 1117, who went by the courtesy name Dingguo). In this way, the two artists converged in a historic masterpiece of calligraphy and painting. The two works went on to become the object of study by later generations and were copied countless times.

This featured work was painted by Shen Shi (b. 1593) after he viewed the poem by Su Shi as calligraphed by Dong Qichang (1555–1636) in the collection of a friend, who, in fact, requested the painting.

Shen Shi was a landscape painter at the end of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and beginning of the Qing (1644–1911). His painting style continued the aesthetics of the Wu school, and his blue and green landscapes were influenced primarily by the work of Qiu Ying (ca. 1497–1552).

Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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