Landscape by Dong Qichang, a hanging scroll painting
China, AD 1555-1636
This example of a hanging scroll by Dong Qichang (1555-1636) shows a clear structure, combined with balance and movement. It is divided into a foreground, with four mountain areas in the middle and background as well as sub-divisions. The viewer’s eye is drawn upwards from the foreground to the top peak. The lines of trees and the ink dots showing vegetation mark the contours of the landscape.
Dong developed a theory of art history which greatly affected later painting. He traced the Southern school of scholar-amateur painting back through the Four Masters of the Yuan and Juran to the Tang poet and painter Wang Wei (699-759). The writing in the top right corner is a quotation by Wang Wei: ‘The voice of the torrent gulps over jagged stones; Sunlight hardly warms the bluish pines.’
J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)