Title: Landscape after Ni Tsan/Ni Zan
Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Dimensions: Image: 45 1/2 x 11 7/8 inches (115.6 x 30.2 cm)
George and Mary Rockwell Collection
Yunlin's [Ni Zan's] paintings are elegant and dilute; his natural truth achieves meaning, inclining towards that which lies outside of brush and ink. Old Man Nantian [Yun Shouping] took up the brush of Shiqu and pursued his own spirituality in the middle ground between conforming to the appearance of things that exist and conforming to that which does not exist, bringing together designations and actions. When I saw the Old Man's great album, in an overflow of feeling, I painted this. In a long summer of the year mowu [signed] Mengquan waishi Xi Gang.
A poet, calligrapher and landscape painter, Xi Gang is considered among the best of the late Orthodox school. A prolific artist, he frequently painted in the style of ancient masters. The air of complete calm and stillness, conveyed by the empty rustic hut, the sparse vegetation, and the dry brush technique is in the best manner of the fourteenth-century master Ni Zan (1301-1374), yet Xi Gang has adapted the style more freely than did Wu Guxiang in his more precise copy that hangs on the wall nearby.
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.